Guide to the Records of the Geological Society of London (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

The Geological Society of London
Records of the Geological Society of London (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1831 - 1869
Collection Number
4 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Letters 1834 of Allan Cunningham and others to the Secretary concerning Australian rocks and fossils.

Letters 1831-69 received by Sir Roderick Murchison relating to exploration, discovery of minerals and fossils, geological surveys and mapping of Australia and New Zealand.

Correspondents include Sir Henry Barkly, W.B. Clarke, Sir John Franklin, J.J. Hector, P.P. King, C. Sturt and Sir Henry Young.

Maps and sketches of districts in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Sarawak, including sketches 1860 by Charles Heaphy of volcanic country of Auckland.

Photographs of geologists including J.W. Gregory, R.L. Jack and Sir Edmund Teale.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1982 (AJCP Reels: M1682). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Geological Society of London, Piccadilly, London. For further information see Records of the Geological Society of London (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Barkly, Sir Henry; Clarke, William B., Rev.; Cunningham, Allan; Paintings, drawings and prints; Fossils; Franklin, Sir John; Geological Society of London; New Zealand: geology; Australia: geology; Gregory, J.W.; Heaphy, Charles; Hector, Sir James; Jack, R.L.; King, Phillip P., Capt.; Maps, plans and charts: Hawaii; Maps, plans and charts: New Zealand; Maps, plans and charts: Australia; Minerals; Murchison, Sir Roderick, 1st Baronet; Paintins, drawings and prints: New Zealand; Photographs; Sarawak; Sturt, Charles, Capt.; Teale, Sir Edmund; Young, Sir Henry


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 183, p67.

Biographical / Historical

The Geological Society was founded at a meeting of 13 gentlemen in London on 13 November 1807. They resolved 'that there be forthwith instituted a Geological Society, for the purpose of making geologists acquainted with each other, of stimulating their zeal, of inducing them to adopt one nomenclature, of facilitating the communication of new facts, and of ascertaining what is known in their science, and what yet remains to be discovered.' The Society was incorporated in 1825.

Most of the activities of the Society originated in its first few years. In 1808 a collection of minerals was started, in 1809 the formation of the library commenced, in 1810 rooms were acquired in Lincolns Inn Fields, in 1811 publication of the Transactions commenced, to be followed by the Proceedings in 1827 and the Quarterly Journal in 1845. Many of the leading British geologists, such as W.D. Conybeare, H. De La Beche, R.I. Murchison, W. Buckland, G.A. Mantell, C. Lyell and A. Sedgwick, joined the Society in this period and by 1830 there were over 500 Fellows.

In 1828 the Society obtained rooms at Somerset House and in 1874 it moved to Burlington House. There were no additions to the museum after 1869 but the other basic functions of the Society - the meetings and lectures, the awarding of prizes, the publications, and the library - have continued to the present day.

Source: H.B. Woodward. The history of the Geological Society of London. (London, Geological Society of London, 1907)

Item Descriptions

Series. Letters Received, 1834

Filmed selectively.

H. Downes to I. Lonsdale, 9 January 1834 (Item LR 1/23)

Sends box of fossils from Pt. Macquarie collected by Capt. H. Smyth.

A. Cunningham to Secretary, 25 March 1834 (Item LR 1/30)

Lends map of Australia showing location of certain rocks.

A. Cunningham to Secretary, 25 March 1834 (Item LR 1/68)

Map and sections of Australia.

A. Cunningham to Secretary, 3 December 1834 (Item LR 1/129)

Paper on Australian rocks

R. Brown to Secretary, 20 June 1834 (Item LR 1/201)

Returns two Australian specimens from collection of A. Cunningham.

Series. Murchison Papers, 1831 - 1869

Papers of Sir Roderick Murchison (1792-1871), 1st. Baronet (created 1866), Secretary of Geological Society 1826-28, 1829-31, President of Geological Society 1831-33, 1841-43, President of Royal Geographical Society 1843-45, 1851-53, 1856-59, 1862-71.

Subseries. Letters, 1831 - 1869

Filmed selectively.

A.T. Atkinson to Murchison, 30 March 1869 (Item M/A26/1)

Seeks support for appointment as Principal of St. Alban's College, Hawaii.

Sir Henry Barkly (Melbourne) to Murchison, 17 May 1860 (Item M/B3/1)

Dr. Hutchison of Sandhurst; Siluria; curious case of quartz vein at Tarrengower; Victorian coalfields; continued returns from goldfields; rush to Snowy Mountains goldfields.

Sir George Bowen (Brisbane) to Murchison, 6 December 1862 (Item M/B59/1)

Introduces explorer W. Landsborough.

W. Burgis to Murchison, 18 July 1860 (Item M/B69/1)

Exploring expedition to north west Australia; A.C. Gregory.

Rev. W.B. Clarke (Peel River) to Murchison, 5 November 1852 (Item M/C13/1)

Misunderstandings over Clarke's discovery of gold; J.B. Jukes; reports of surveys in northern N.S.W.; curious goldfield at Peel River.

Rev. W.B. Clarke (Green Ponds, Tas.) to Murchison, 20 June 1856 (Item M/C13/2)

Introduces son M.W.S. Clarke who may undertake geological survey of Tasmania.

Lord Carnarvon to Murchison, 6 October 1858 (Item M/C32/1)

Sends papers on Victorian goldfields.

Sir John Franklin to Murchison, 30 January 1845 (Item M/F17/1)

Sends specimens collected on journey from Hobart to Macquarie Harbour; error in map of Van Diemen's Land.

G. Gawler to Murchison, 25 April 1842 (Item M/G22/1)

Pressures of work (incomplete).

W. von Haidinger (Vienna) to Murchison, 14 January 1860 (Item M/H1/8)

Return of Dr. Hockstetter from Australia and New Zealand; geological survey of province of Nelson; thanks for letters of introduction; publication of results of journey.

J. Hector to Murchison, 17 January 1861 (Item M/H13/1)

Thanks for recommendation for New Zealand appointment.

J. Hector to Murchison, 17 January 1861 (Item M/H13/2)

Has agreed to undertake New Zealand survey; appointment of assistant; plans to visit Australian goldmines.

J.D. Hooker to Murchison, 17 January 1861 (Item M/H58/1)

Congratulations on baronetcy returns papers of J. Hector with some alterations.

Hamilton Hume to Murchison, 17 January 1861 (Item M/H67/1)

Deputation to Duke of Buckingham on persecution of E.J. Eyre since removal as Governor of Jamaica.

Capt. P.P. King (Argyle, N.S.W.) to Murchison, 17 January 1861 (Item M/K3/1)

Assistance to Mr. Murchison; Geological Society; Murchison's parties; limestone formations in N.S.W.

W. Landsborough to Murchison, 17 January 1861 (Item M/L18/1)

Sends extract from Argus; sheep and cattle stations along route to Warrego.

F. McCoy (Belfast) to Murchison, 17 January 1861 (Item M/M1/5)

Antagonism of Geological Survey; seeks appointment as lecturer or palaentologist.

H. Miller to Murchison, 17 January 1861 (Item M/M15/2)

Introduces Lanyell of New Zealand Company who has some geological specimens.

F. von Mueller (Melbourne) to Murchison, 17 January 1861 (Item M/M53/1)

Introduces Dr. Wills, father of explorer.

J. Nicol (Worcester) to Murchison, 17 January 1861 (Item M/N8/16)

Maps; fossil hunting in Malvern; McCoy should be sent to Australia where he might do some good work.

F. Ordernheimer (Wiesbaden) to Murchison, 17 January 1861 (Item M/01/1)

Thanks for recommendation; Western Australia; collection of Nassauian deposits.

J. Crauford and J. Auld (Otago Office, Edinburgh) to Murchison, 17 January 1861 (Item M/06/1)

Terms of appointment of J. Hector to geological survey of Province of Otago.

J.B. Pentland (Paris) to Murchison, March 1831 (Item M/P10/7)

Kangaroo fossils from New Holland caves.

P.C. Ross (New York) to Murchison, 28 September 1867 (Item M/R14/1)

Criticises statement only colonies with large coal deposits are N.S.W. and Newfoundland; vast coalfields in Canada.

Sir James Ross to Murchison, 20 May 1846 (Item M/R39/1)

Antarctic voyage.

K. Scherzer (Trieste) to Murchison, 19 June 1860 (Item M/S5/1)

Return of two Maoris to New Zealand after stay in Vienna; publication of narrative of Novara Expedition.

K. Scherzer to Murchison, 18 November 1860 (Item M/S5/2)

Requests preface for English edition of narrative of Novara circumnavigation.

C. Sturt to Murchison, 11 March 1859 (Item M/S85/1)

Stewart; Gregory's expedition to Cooper's Creek; death of R. Brown.

C. Sturt to Murchison, 24 February 1855 (Item M/S85/2)

Increase in salaries of Wilson and T. Baines; unable to attend dinner.

P.E.P. de Verneuil to Murchison, 12 January 1854 (Item M/V3/19)

Discovery of gold in Australia.

W. Whewell to Murchison, 22 November 1835 (Item M/W4/13)

Proposal for Antarctic expedition; Capt. J. Ross.

W. Whewell to Murchison, 22 March 1836 (Item M/W4/14)

Suggestion of Sir John Franklin that Admiralty be urged to support Antarctic expedition.

Sir Henry Young (Hobart) to Murchison, 11 December 1859 (Item M/Y1/1)

Gould's survey of Fingal district; establishment of companies for quartz crushing; expeditions across Tasmania by Gould and R.C. Gunn; reports of other surveys; survey of port of Hobart by J.W. Smith of H.M.S. Herald.

Series. Maps and Drawings, 1846 - 1880

J.W. Gregory and F.T. Gregory. Geological outlines of country in vicinity of Swan River, 1846 (Item (i))

C. Heaphy. Eight sketches of volcanic country of Auckland, 1860 (Item (ii))

Including north shore of Auckland, Mt. Richmond. Mt. Eden and Manukau Harbour. Also print of north shore of Auckland.

J. Hector. Map and sections of province of Otago (2 sheets) (Item (iii))

E. Hopkins. Section showing general character of gold-bearing rocks as observed in Australia and New Zealand (Item (iv))

W. Mantell. Sketch of Onekaka looking northwards (Item (v))

J. Mounsy. Sketch of Diotameceie from sandy marl of Taranaki and sketch of formamenifera from Otatara limestone (Item (vi))

R. Phillips. Map and sketch of Ballarat (Item (vii))

J. Russell. General section of tertiary rocks and coal, north-west Borneo (Item (viii))

R.B. Smyth. Map and sections of volcanic district of Victoria, 1857 (Item (ix))

H. Williams. Chart of Sarawak, 1846 (Item (x))

Sketch of east view of Cape Pillar, Van Diemen's Land (Item (xi))

Sketch of eruption from Maunoloa, Hawaii, 1855 (Item (xii))

Sections of Pt. Grey, Irwin River and Gypsum Lakes, Western Australia. (printed) (Item (xiii))

Series. Photographs

J.W. Gregory (Item F9/1/2/75 p.27)

J.W. Gregory (Item F9/1/2/81, p.28)

Sir Joseph Hooker (Item F9/1/3/9 p.3 - F9/1/3/10 p.3)

R.L. Jack (Item F9/1/8/29 p.15)

J.B. Jukes (Item F9/1/3/41 p.16)

J.B. Jukes (Item F9/1/3/97 p.37)

Sir Edmund Teale (Item)

2 photographs