Guide to the Papers of Sir Richard Owen (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Owen, Richard, Sir, 1804-1892
Papers of Sir Richard Owen (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1796 - 1889
Collection Number
84 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

Correspondence 1836-1883. Subjects include: discovery of fossils in Australia; observations of Tasmanian Aborigines; self-government in New South Wales; research on Australian and New Zealand fauna including platypus and moa; dispatch of Australian specimens and skulls of Maoris and Aborigines. Correspondents include W. Clift, G. Bennett, Sir Walter Buller, R. Etheridge, W.B. Clarke, Sir Julius von Haast, J.L.G. Krefft, Sir Ferdinand von Mueller, E.P. Ramsay, T.H.C. Hood and H. Woodward.

Notebooks 1830-1839 containing Owen's notes on kangaroo, dingo, possum, wombat, echidna, platypus, orang utan, emu, koala, kiwi, black swan, nautilus and astacus Murrumbidgee.

Papers 1804-1832 of Sir Everard Home concerning platypus, dugong, cassowary, ostrich, ornithorhynchus and Dinornis gravis. Correspondents include G. Busby and H. Dumaresq.

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 at the Natural History Museum, London, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1987 (AJCP Reels: M2271-M2288). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London.

For further information see Sir Richard Owen at the National History Museum. []

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 2019. 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.

Advisory Statement

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress, including names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. This Finding Aid contains terms that reflect authors' views or those of the historical period, but which may not be considered appropriate today. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.


Australia; Australia Aboriginals: Tasmania; Australia: geology; Bennett, George (Sydney); Buller, Sir Walter; Busby, G.; Cassowaries; Clarke, William B., Rev.; Clift, William; Dingos; Dugongs; Dumaresq, Henry; Echidnas; Emus; Etheridge, Robert; Fossils; Great Britain; Home, Sir Everard, 1st Baronet; Hood, T.H.C.; Indigenous Australians; Indigenous Australians: Tasmania; Kangaroos; Kiwis; Koalas; Krefft, Johann G.; Maori; Moas; New South Wales: politics and government; New Zealand; Orang-utans; Ostriches; Owen, Sir Richard; Palaeontologists; Platypus; Possums; Ramsay, E.P.; Skeletal remains; Swans, black; Von Haast, Sir Julius; Von Mueller, Sir Ferdinand, Baron; Wombats; Woodward, H.


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 359, pp137-138.

Biographical / Historical

Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892), comparative anatomist and palaeontologist. Educated at Lancaster Grammar School, Edinburgh University and St Bartholomew's Hospital, becoming a surgeon in 1826. Assistant conservator of Hunterian Collection, Royal College of Surgeons, 1827-1842, Conservator 1842-1856. Hunterian Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, Royal College of Surgeons, 1836-1856. First President of Royal Microscopical Society 1840-1841. First and only Superintendent of Natural History Departments of British Museum, 1856-1883, supervising the transfer of the Departments to South Kensington in 1880-1883. President of British Association 1858. Fullerian Professor of Physiology at Royal Institution 1859-1861. Knighted 1884.

His publications included Researches on the Fossile Remains of the Extinct Mammala of Australia (1877-1878) and Memoirs on the Extinct Wingless Birds of New Zealand (1879).

William Clift (1775-1849). Apprentice to Dr John Hunter 1792-1793. Conservator of Hunterian Collection, Royal College of Surgeons, 1800-1842. His only daughter Caroline married Richard Owen in 1835.

Item Descriptions

Series. Correspondence, 1796 - 1889

27 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reels M2271-M2282.

AB-AYR, 20 January 1841 - 8 October 1888 (File Volume 1)

f.1 J.L. Abel (York) to Owen; Offers British Museum two specimens of Dinornis gigantecus found at Hokitika, sent by A.T. Abel of Ballarat. [01 Dec 1867]

f.5 J.L. Abel to Owen; Proposed meeting to discuss fossils. [04 Nov 1867]

f.30 W. Adeney (Timboon, Victoria) to Owen; Inquires if fossil jaw sent by Dr Hobson of Melbourne was received. [25 Dec 1854]

ff.31-32 W. Adeney to Owen; Circumstances of discovery of fossils near Geelong; geological features of area.[16 Aug 1855]

ff.33-34 W. Adeney to Owen; Despatch of fossils.[29 Jan 1857]

ff.138-139 A.J. Allom (Thames, N.Z.) to Owen; Recalls meeting in 1848 when Allom presented some moa bones; seeks letter about bones. [04 Aug 1888]

ff.254-255 Duke of Argyll to Owen; Thanks for information on Australian dingo; claim of an Australian bishop that dingo is indigenous. [04 March 1885]

ff.267-270 Rev. W.J. Aislabie (Sudbury) to Owen; Observation of Tasmanian Indigenous Australians in 1834; physical features; claim of Sir G. Rose that Australians were straight from Babel dispersion; introduction of circumcision in Australia. [12 Oct 1874]

Items of interest include;

BAB-BAZ, 5 October 1817 - 13 June 1888 (File Volume 2)

f.214 J. Barlow to Owen; Nephew G. Clerk arrived from N.S.W. with bones for Owen. [n.d.]

ff.232-233 H.C. Barnett to Owen; Departure for Western Australia; offers to perform any services.[31 Dec 1868]

ff.349-350 J. Bateman to Owen; Editing of journal of P.E. Warburton; seeks comments on zoological references.[n.d.]

Items of interest include;

BEA-BEN, 1833 - 1882 (File Volume 3)

ff.20-21 L. Becker (Melbourne) to Owen; Sends box of natural history specimens for Dr Kaup of Darmstadt; plans to search caves in Tasmania; R. Gunn.[30 May 1855]

ff.22-23 L. Becker to Owen; Despatch of box for Dr Kaup; economy measures of Government hurting science; F. von Mueller; Capt. A. Clarke; ill-treatment of Becker over Paris Exhibition; sketches of Tasmania and Victoria.[1855]

ff.208-371 G. Bennett (Sydney) to Owen, 1833-1882, and his son G.F. Bennett (Toowoomba) to Owen, 1875-1882. (43 letters); Subjects include research on platypus, kangaroo, echidna, cassowarry, dugong; despatch of specimens; new fossil discoveries; inspection of bones of moa; J. Gilbert; establishment of self-government in N.S.W.; visit of Challenger Expedition to Sydney (1874); Owen's work on Australian fossils; Bennett's visit to England (1877-1878); 1879-1880 Sydney Exhibition; requests for publications; financial difficulties. Includes photograph of G. Bennett.(1877),[1833-1882]

Items of interest include:

BEN-BOY, 1836 - 1888 (File Vol.4)

Filmed selectively.

BRA-BRO, 26 May 1835 - 2 May 1879 (File Vol.5)

f.21 E. Brayley to Owen; References to articles on Malayan and Borneo orang outang.[26 May 1835]

f.44 W.H. Breton (Launceston) to Owen; Sends skulls of Indigenous Australians and of animals indigenous to Van Diemen's Land. [25 Jan 1847]

f.45 W.H. Breton to Owen; Despatch of boxes.[01 Feb 1847]

ff.125-126 W.J. Broderip to Owen; Refers to W. Martin and Bishop G.A. Selwyn.[10 Aug 1843]

ff.183-184 W.J. Broderip to Owen; Sends specimen of rare shell Padollas scolaris given by Capt. P.P. King. [11 Dec 1849]

f.199 W.J. Broderip to Owen; Comments by Capt. R. FitzRoy of sonarity of voices of Indigenous Australians.[12 Nov 1851]

Items of interest include:

BRO-CAT, 23 June 1838 - 15 April 1889 (File Volume 6)

ff.84-85 T. Brown (Manchester) to Owen; Sends cranium of dugong and fossil bones found at Moreton Bay.[19 Aug 1847]

ff.180-194 Sir Walter Buller (Wellington, London) to Owen; Sends specimen of Apteryx mantelli; thanks for addition to lepidoptera collection; Birds of New Zealand; emigration of Frank Owen to New Zealand; photograph of Maori stone bird Korotangi. (9 letters) [1859-1889]

ff.268-269 F. Campbell (Tarban, N.S.W.) to Owen; Sends fossil bones found by son at Condamine River, Queensland; seeks opinion of value.[10 May 1866]

Items of interest include:

CAU-CLI, 5 February 1792 - 20 August 1888 (File Volume 7)

ff.56-57 E. Charlesworth to Owen; Seeks support for application for post of museum curator at Melbourne University.[13 Aug 1859]

ff.140-162 Rev. W.B. Clarke (Sydney) to Owen; Sends article in Sydney Morning Herald on discovery of large marsupial fossil at Condamine River; fossils sent to England by G. Bennett and Sir Thomas Mitchell; conflict within Australian Museum and attacks of J.L.G. Krefft (1876-1877); discovery of skeleton of huge bird; fossil reptiles discovered in New Zealand. (7 letters) [1847-1877]

ff.220-221 W.B. Clarke (Ipswich) to Owen; Sends prospectus of book on wreck of Favorite and adventures of John Dunn on Island of Desolation in South Pacific. [24 Nov 1949]

ff.296-297 W. Clift to Joanna Clift;Refers to J. and W. Puckey departed for Tahiti as Methodist missionaries. [09 Oct 1796]

Items of interest include:

CLI-COR, 26 August 1818 - 1877 (File Volume 8)

f.21 W. Clift to G. Cuvier; Account of zoological specimens collected by Sir Stanford Raffles in East Indies. (draft) [c.1820]

ff.70-71 W. Clift to W.E. Leach; Interest of Stutchbury in appointment as naturalist on Pacific expedition of Capt. T. Beechey. [22 Feb 1825]

f.292 W. Clift to [unknown]; Tablet to memory of F. Bauer; refers to his botanical drawings.[28 Feb 1846]

ff.328-329 J. Colesbrooke to Owen; Sends letter from Major Michael on moa bones found in New Zealand.[26 Dec 1865]

ff.331-332 W. Colenso (Waitangi) to Owen; Article by Colenso on moa in Tasmanian Philosophical Journal; survival of Apteryx. [20 Jan 1846]

ff.333-334 W. Colenso to Owen; Sends specimens of New Zealand rat and bat; characteristics; moa bones. [22 Jan 1851]

ff.376-385 Sir Daniel Cooper to Owen; Sends Australian specimens, including Port Jackson shark and platypi; Owen's Extinct birds of New Zealand. (7 letters) [1861-1877]

f.425 J. Cordeaux (Chester) to Owen; Inquires about size of moa bone. [23 Dec]

ff.426-432 W.E. Cormack to Owen; Account of discovery and geological provenance of moa bone found in New Zealand; plans to send bone to Natural History Museum of Montreal. (4 letters) [1850-1851]

Items of interest include:

COT-DIA, 27 May 1823 - 5 June 1889 (File Volume 9)

ff.7-10 Rev. W. Cotton (Waimate) to Owen; Moa bones sent by Rev. H. Williams to W. Buckland; believes bird is extant; Bishop G.A. Selwyn; Mrs W. Martin. [11 July 1842]

ff.11-14 Rev. W. Cotton (Auckland) to Owen; Thanks for book describing moa bones; Maori War; Bishop G.A. Selwyn; New Zealand specimens of fauna; Rev. H. Williams. [07 June 1845]

f.23a F. Cowan to Owen; Receipt of box of fossils from G. Bennett in Sydney. [09 Oct 1885]

ff.28-29 F. Cox (Brighton, Tasmania) to Owen; Transfer of collection of Tasmanian insects from Paris Exhibition to British Museum. [12 Dec 1859]

ff.82-83 J. Crawfurd to Owen; Thanks for paper on Andaman Islanders; indigenous inhabitants of Philippines and East Indies. [22 Nov 1862]

ff.125-126 H. Cuming (Manila) to Owen; Despatch of natural history specimens. [01 Nov 1837]

ff.127-128 H. Cuming to Owen; Completion of collecting in Philippines; despatch of specimens. [05 Nov 1839]

ff.134-135 H. Cuming (London) to Owen; Inspection of collection of human skulls from East Indies. [28 Jan 1854]

ff.179a-180 W. Daniels (Auckland) to Owen; Sends pathological specimen taken from uterus of a sow. [21 Dec 1853]

ff.244a-244b W. Davies to Owen; Sends chelonian bones from Lord Howe Island. [21 March 1887]

ff.255-258 J.B. Davis (Shelton) to Owen; Progress of Crania Britannicae; examination of Australian and Papuan skulls. [08 Aug 1853]

ff.272-273 J.B. Davis to Owen; Peculiarity of pubis of Australian woman; inquires if it is representative of marsupial bone. [23 Sept 1866]

f.306 R. Day to Owen; Offer for sale of fine species of kiwi. [07 Aug 1849]

Items of interest include:

DIC-EG, 10 October 1843 - 1889 (File Volume 10)

ff.9-10 E. Diffenbach (Berlin) to Owen; Seeks an appointment; considers employment by New Zealand Company was a failure. [10 Oct 1843]

f.26 J.S. Dismorr (London) to Owen; Fossil footprints found near Port Phillip.[09 May 1851]

ff.27-28 J.S. Dismorr to Owen; Returned from Australia with two platypi in spirits. [08 June 1857]

ff.29-30 J.S. Dismorr (Melbourne) to Owen; Despatch of female platypi; difficulties of obtaining impregnated specimens. [26 Nov 1855]

f.31 J.S. Dismorr; Unable to procure any more platypi. [09 April 1858]

Items of interest include:

EGE-ESP, 26 October 1840 - 31 March 1891 (File Volume 11)

ff.96-97 Sir Philip Egerton to Owen; Returns paper on platypus hoax. [13 Nov 1856]

ff.153-154 T.F. Elliot (Colonial Office) to Owen; Seeks advice concerning geologist to inquire into geology of British colonies. [05 Nov 1859]

f.168 W.R. Elliot to Owen; Box of fossils from Dr G. Bennett in Sydney. [n.d.]

f.297 Lord Enniskillen (Enniskillen) to Owen; Report that two living specimens of moa had been captured at Otago. [16 Feb 1875]

f.321 J. Enys (London) to Owen; Presents sternum of moa from New Zealand.[07 Dec 1883]

f.322 J. Enys to Owen; Seeks copy of paper by Owen on Dinornis elephantibus. [n.d.]

f.323 J. Enys (Falkirk) to Owen; Paper on Dinornis elephantibus. [7 April]

ff.324-325 J. Enys (Canterbury, N.Z.) to Owen; Notornis mantelli killed in Otago; seeks nomination to Athenaeum Club. [n.d.]

ff.333-334 M.A. Enys (Penryn) to Owen; Sends account of moa eggs by brother J. Enys; publication in Nature; discovery by J. von Haast of bones of large eagle in New Zealand. [06- Oct 1871]

ff.335-336 Capt. J. Erskine (Rio de Janeiro) to Owen; Live kiwis sent by Lt. Governor J. Eyre from New Zealand. [14 Oct 1851]

Items of interest include:

ETH-FOW, 7 April 1825 - 2 November 1887 (File Volume 12)

ff.5-6 R. Etheridge (Edinburgh) to Owen; Publication of stratigraphical catalogue of Australian fossils; seeks memoirs by Owen on Australian marsupials. [11 July 1877]

ff.7-8 R. Etheridge to Owen; Acknowledges papers. [15 July 1877]

ff.9-10 R. Etheridge (London) to Owen; Receipt of crocodilian teeth from C. Wilkinson in Sydney. [09 Feb 1885]

ff.11-12 R. Etheridge to Owen; Forwards teeth. [10 April 1885]

ff.15-16 R. Etheridge to Owen; Seeks recognition for T.G. Binny, Registrar of N.S.W. Department of Mines, returned to England. [13 July 1886]

ff.17-18 R. Etheridge to Owen; Box of Megalania received from Australia ready for inspection. [27 Aug 1886]

ff.19-20 R. Etheridge to Owen; Megalania and Micolania fossils developed; plans of Etheridge to emigrate to Australia; seeks testimonial. [05 Feb 1887]

ff.46-47 E.J. Eyre (Wellington) to Owen; Despatch by H.M.S. Havannah of live kiwi. [10 May 1851]

f.204 W. Fenwick to Owen; Moa bones given to Angela Burdett-Coutts. [12 July 1866]

f.213 A. Fisher (Auckland) to Owen; Recalls visits to Hunterian Museum; discovery of curious animal; unhealth situation of Auckland. [01 May 1874]

ff.227-228 E.S. Fitch (Sydney) to Owen; Visit to Wellington Caves; observations of birth of kangaroos. [23 Jan 1867]

ff.229-230 E.S. Fitch to Owen; Collecting of fossils in Australia; Wellington Caves. [08 Aug 1871]

ff.233-234 W.H. Fitton to Owen; Collection of fossils from Moreton Bay in possession of Sir Edward Ryan. [08 Feb 1846]

f.236a W.H. Fitton to Owen; Refusal of Government to appoint naturalist or geologist to expedition of Capt. J.L. Stokes to New Zealand. [22 Oct 1847]

ff.244-253 R.D. Fitzgerald (Sydney) to Owen; Observations of marsupials; believes foetus is deposited directly into pouch at birth; fossils from Lord Howe Island; native cat; Lord Howe Island flora related to New Zealand flora. (4 letters) [1879- 1884]

ff.255-256 Capt. R. FitzRoy to Owen; Reference by Capt. P.P. King to black necked swan; requests Owen to look over manuscript of book on voyage of H.M.S. Beagle.[02 Oct 1837]

ff.289-290 Sir William Flower to Owen; Box of bones from J. von Haast in New Zealand.[25 Jan 1868]

f.298 J.W. Flower (Dover) to Owen; Offers to send specimens of Terebratula from Australia. [24 July 1852]

Items of interest include:

FOX-GRE, 24 June 1833 - 19 October 1917 (File Volume 13)

ff.143-144 J. Gillies (Edinburgh) to Owen; Departure for Tasmania; seeks instructions about platypus. [20 Sept 1856]

ff.145-146 J. Gillies (London) to Owen; Sends box of moa bones found in Middle Island of New Zealand.[n.d.]

ff.147-152 W. Gipps (Mundooran) to Owen; Collecting of fossils; geological features; Rev. W.B. Clarke; hopes to join surveying party. [03 Dec 1874]

ff.186-188 J. Goodsir (Edinburgh) to Owen; Application of H.S. Wilson for position of Conservator of Museum at Sydney University. [13 Dec 1861]

f.208 F.R. Gore to Owen; Book required by H.G. Douglass of Sydney. [26 Nov 1849]

f.214 J. Gould to Owen; Identifies bird from Sandwich Islands. [11 Oct 1853]

f.215 J. Gould to Owen; Drawing of Neomorpha gouldi in Birds of Australia.[Feb 28]

ff.216-217 J. Gould to Owen; Details of Australian and New Zealand birds.[n.d.]

ff.228-235 J.R. Gower to Owen; Discovery of moa bones at Waikawaite by W. Wakefield; despatch of bones; paper by Owen on moa. (7 letters) [1845-1848]

ff.249-250 J. Grant (Launceston) to Owen; Sends two Tasmanian wolves in brine; publications of Owen; Grant's work as field naturalist in Tasmania for 30 years. [23 March 1864]

ff.385-386 A. Greeves (Melbourne) to Owen; Sends reptiles, insects and shells; statements by Indigenous Australians confirm that platypus is oviparous.[12 July 1843]

Items of interest include:

GRE-HAY, 3 November 1814 - 16 July 1890 (File Volume 14)

ff.3-4 Sir George Grey (Auckland) to Owen; Loss in fire of large collection of fossil bones; acquisition of moa bones. [29 Nov 1849]

ff.5-6 Lady Grey (Wellington) to Owen; Despatch of three birds; their habits and care. [30 Aug 1853]

ff.35-36 R.C. Gunn (Launceston) to Owen; Death of E.C. Hobson of Melbourne; despatch of his fossils; introduces Gunn's son, studying medicine in England. [10 May 1848]

ff.110-201 Sir Julius von Haast (Christchurch, London) to Owen; (23 letters) Subjects include search for moa bones in Nelson Province; complexities of Tertiary geology; discovery of camp of prehistoric moa-hunters; reconstruction of moa; W. Mantell; J.H. Hector; Canterbury Museum; attitude of Owen to colonial anatomists; meanness of British Museum to colonial museums; G. Bennett; visit to England (1886); antiquity of moa; publications; Sir Walter Buller; disagreements with Owen about classification. Includes photograph of von Haast. [1859-1886]

ff.206-207 F.A. Hagenauer (Gippsland) to Sir Ferdinand von Mueller;Discovery of new-born platypus on River Avon. [04 Oct 1886]

f.211 G.B. Halford to Owen; Requests Owen chair farewell dinner for S. Pittard emigrating to Sydney. [05 Sept 1859]

f.212 G.B. Halford (Melbourne) to Owen; Arrival in Melbourne; Owen's request for information on monotremes [24 March 1863]

ff.214-215 G.B. Halford to Owen; Acknowledges memoir on gorilla; Halford's paper on snake-poisoning; collection of platypi. [27 Sept 1867]

f.249 J.F. Hampton to Owen; Forwards natural history specimens from J. Bicheno in Van Diemen's Land. [16 May 1846]

ff.255-256 E.T. Hardman (Dublin) to Owen; Discoveries of Diprotodon in Western Australia. [20 March 1886]

ff.273-274 R. Harkness (Cork) to Owen; Bones from Darling Downs. [07 Feb 1870]

f.275 R. Harkness to Owen; Bones from Darling Downs. [25 Feb 1870]

ff.305-306 C.H. Hartmann (Toowoomba) to Owen; Sends outline of head of marsupial lion. [27 March 1883]

ff.307-308 C.H. Hartmann to Owen; Sends head and underjaw of marsupial lion. [1883]

ff.536-537 F. Haynes to Owen; Sends skulls of natives found in Western Australia. [27 Jan 1862]

ff.539-540 G.H. Haydon to Owen; Report of hundreds of moa bones ploughed up in field in Otago. [02 Jan 1864

Items of interest include:

HEB- HYA, 25 June 1814 - 5 November 1889 (File Volume 15)

ff.3-42a J. Hector (Dunedin, Wellington) to Owen; (16 letters) Subjects include moa skeleton found by miners; geological sequence in New Zealand; skeletons of Notornis; J. von Haast; tracings of Waipara fossils; antiquity of moa; Sir Walter Buller; despatch of specimens; treatment of New Zealand specimens in British Museum; G. Bennett; moa feathers in Otago Museum. [1859-1880]

ff.42b-45 Lieut. B. Helpman (Sharks Bay) to Owen; Sends skeleton of marine animal found at Sharks Bay, Western Australia. [24 Dec 1850]

ff.133-139 E.S. Hill (Sydney) to Owen; Statement about kangaroos in work of C. Darwin; observations of fear and anger of kangaroos. (copy) [18 April 1873]

f.147 H. Hinton (Sofala) to Owen; Despatch of bones; difficulty of catching platypus. [03 Dec 1856]

f.148 H. Hinton to Owen; Bones discovered at gold diggings. [04 Feb 1856]

ff.153-154 E. Hitchcock (Amherst, Mass.) to Owen; Accounts by Capts. J. Cook and M. Flinders of large bird nests in Australia; sends account of bird footprints in sandstone. [23 July 1844]

ff.180-181 E.C. Hobson (Melbourne) to Owen; Sends large fossil bones found by P. Mayne; skull of an Indigenous Australian; seeks to become member of Geological and Zoological Societies. [27 Jan 1844]

ff.182-183 E.C. Hobson to Owen; Sends drawing of animal skull found on banks of River Murray. [15 March 1847]

ff.247-248 C.J. Holdsworth (Wilmslow) to Owen; Seeks to identify bone from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. [18 Nov 1884]

ff.251-259 E. Holland (Evesham) to Owen; Receipt of fossils from F.N. Isaac at Darling Downs; Owen's book sent to Australia. (5 letters) [1846-1849]

ff.340-341 Sir Everard Home (Sydney) to Owen; Describes fighting fish at Singapore; G. Macleay; Maori reports about moa. [13 April 1844]

f.348 Sir Everard Home to Owen; Introduces Wood, surgeon of H.M.S. Calliope.[28 Dec 1850]

ff.350-351 Sir Everard Home to Owen; Despatch of specimens from Sydney; Capt. H.M. Denham. [22 Feb 1853]

ff.352-385 T.H.C. Hood (Sydney, Christchurch, Taranaki, Grieff) to Owen; (14 letters) Subjects include reptile fossils found on Middle Island; geological features of Canterbury region; exploration of Waipara Hills; visit to England (1870); moa-hunters; antiquity of Maoris; J. von Haast; seizure of Maori lands by European settlers; drawings of Miss Gordon-Cumming.[1861-1887]

ff.443-444 F. Huddleston (Nelson) to Owen; Sends photograph and description of sea mammal washed ashore on Middle Island. [27 Aug 1866]

ff.452-453 A. von Hugel to Owen; Loss of specimens on journey to England; hopes British Museum will purchase 20 skulls, chiefly Fijian. [10 Feb]

ff.483-495 F.W. Hutton (Dunedin) to Owen; Moa bone deposit at Hamilton; J. von Haast; despatch of fossils including complete skull of D. crassus; classification of moa; acquisition of publications. (7 letters) [1874-1876]

Items of interest include:

IBB-KRA, 21 October 1824 - 8 July 1887 (File Volume 16)

ff.26-27 F.N. Isaac. An account of some fossil bones found in Darling Downs (copy); [05 July 1845]

ff.28-29 F.N. Isaac to Owen; Collecting of Australian fossil bones; seeks Owen's observations on fossils. [29 Aug 1859]

f.30 F.N. Isaac (Bridgnorth) to Owen; Return from Australia; offers Australian fossils to British Museum. [12 July 1860]

f.31 F.N. Isaac to Owen; Inquires if Owen received Australian fossils. [22 June 1861]

ff.109-113 W. Jardine to Owen; Refers to collection of Australian birds eggs; J. Gould. [24 May 1850]

f.127 L. Jenyns to Owen; Sends letter from W. Swainson in New Zealand. [03 Oct 1845]

f.165 W.T. Johns (Scilly Isles) to W. Clift; Offers Royal College of Surgeons two heads of New Zealand chiefs. [24 May 1825]

ff.173-174 J. Johnson to Owen; Sends New Zealand skeleton and skull; believes Maori uprising due to local causes rather than general hostility to British.[12 July 1845]

ff.297-298 J.B. Jukes (Soerabaya) to Owen; Unable to find living nautilus; despatch of bones of Java dugong. [12 Dec 1844]

ff.299-300 J.B. Jukes (Devonport) to Owen; Fossil bones from G. Bennett. [03 July 1846]

ff.301-302 J.B. Jukes (Bala) to Owen; Seeks contribution to book. [16 May 1847]

ff.348-350 J.J. Kaup (Darmstadt) to Owen;Receipt of skeleton of moa. [25 Aug 1864]

ff.351-352 J.J. Kaup to Owen; Casts of moa; seeks addresses of scientists in New Zealand. [06 Jan 1865]

ff.409-410 Capt. P.P. King (Sydney) to Owen; Specimens entrusted to T.H. Huxley; hopes to get monthly specimens of platypus. [30 April 1850]

ff.411-414 Capt. P.P. King to Owen; Sends notes and papers; seeks news of R. Brown and Fitton; fossils discovered by S. Stuchbury. [18 Nov 1854]

ff.429-430 J. Kinnis to Owen; Offers for dissection orang-outang from Java.[16 Sept 1840]

ff.443-444 T. Kirk (Auckland) to Owen; Discovery of moa footprints at Poverty Bay. [12 July 1871]

f.445 W. Kirby (Barham) to Owen; Delivery of animals in spirits from Swan River. [21 March 1835]

ff.546-557 F.J. Knox. List of specimens of bones comprising skeleton of moa; [12 Aug 1847]

Items of interest include:

KRE-LLO, 16 April 1817 - 21 June 1889 (File Volume 17)

ff.1-68 J.L.G. Krefft (Sydney) to Owen; (20 letters) Subjects include receipt of books and skeletons for Australian Museum; fossils collected at Wellington Caves; G. Bennett; Rev. W.B. Clarke; proposed book Fossil mammals of Australia; dispute about moa bones from Australia; characteristics of Tasmanian wolf; fossils sent to British Museum; difficulties with Board of Australian Museum. [1862]

ff.85-86 J.H. Lamprey (Royal Geographical Society) to Owen; Offer of Dr Barnett to collect palaeontological specimens in Western Australia.[02 Jan 1868]

ff.176-179 A. La Touche to Owen; Observation at Penang in 1858 of small pearls created by larger pearls while stored in box. [04 Nov (1870)]

ff.244-245 E.L. Layard (Cape Town) to Owen; Arrow-heads; despatch of secretary birds to Australia to prey on snakes. [13 Dec 1864]

ff.250-251 E.L. Layard (Noumea) to Owen; Congratulations on knighthood; Layard's exile. [21 June 1884]

ff.298-299 Sarah Lee to Owen; Arrival of daughter in Australia. [22 April 1853]

f.300 Sarah Lee to Owen; Seeks book or paper on platypus. [01 May 1854]

ff.339-340 C. Lennox to W. Buckland; Intellect of kangaroos. [n.d.]

ff.343-344 A. Le Soeuf (Melbourne) to Owen; Sends six platypi. (copy) [24 Dec 1879]

ff.345-346 A. Le Soeuf (Crediton) to Owen. Platypi; [01 June (1880)]

f.347 A. Le Soeuf (Melbourne) to Owen; Despatch of platypi. [25 Aug 1881]

f.365 W.G. Lettsom to Owen; Sends first part of Eocene formation of Borneo and its fossils. [19 Nov 1877]

f.388 J. Lhotsky to Owen; Sends article on animal tuition. [28 April 1842]

ff.390-391 J. Lhotsky to Owen; Fossil heads from Australia; plan to publish 'Geology of future'.[May 8]

ff.401-402 W.L. Lindsay to Owen; Specimen of Port Jackson shark; return from collecting trip in New Zealand and Australia; seeks help in describing collections. [03 July 1862]

ff.413-414 A. Liversidge (Sydney) to Owen; Sends fragments of chelonian fossil from Flinders River; award of Clarke Memorial Medal to Owen. [26 May 1881]

ff.459-460 Lady Llewellyn to Owen; Seeks information about moa. [Dec. 28]

Items of interest include:

LOB-MAN, 16 May 1823 - 1900 (File Volume 18)

f.5 J. Locke (Dublin) to Owen; Relics of seven species of moa sent to Dunedin Exhibition; cutting on son T. Locke, Canterbury Provincial Meteorologist. [8 March]

ff.74-75 Sir John Lubbock to Owen; Urges appointment of naturalist to Antarctic Expedition; collectors should be sent out on Pacific merchant ships and whalers.[1839]

ff.102-103 P.B. Luxmoore (Waitaki) to Owen; Sends moa bones; offers to send fossil feathers. [04 Feb 1861]

ff.104-105 E.B. Luxmoore to Owen; Fossils discovered by brother on Middle Island, New Zealand. [n.d.]

f.120 C. Lyell to Owen; Requires second edition of T.L. Mitchell. Three expeditions into the interior of eastern Australia, with appendix by Owen on cave bones. [07 April (1841)]

ff.217-225 Sir William Macarthur (Paris, London, Camden) to Owen; Purchase of Australian wine from Paris Exhibition; fossil wombat jaw; seeks paper on platypus. (4 letters) [1855-1860]

ff.226-227 R. McCormick to Owen; Sends Antarctic penguin, seal and New Zealand tui. [02 Oct 1843]

ff.251-260 F. McCoy (Melbourne) to Owen; Purchase of skeletons for Melbourne University Museum; seeks casts of specimens in British Museum; attempts to obtain Government support for publication of Fossil remains of the extinct mammalia of Australia; McCoy's hopes of receiving a knighthood. (6 letters) [1857-1889]

ff.273-283 J.D. Macdonald. Observations on the anatomy of several of the structures of the Nautilus Pompilius observed at Aneityum. Forwarded by Capt. H.M. Denham to Sir Francis Beaufort. [04 Jan 1854]

ff.287-288 J. MacGillivray (Aberdeen) to Owen; Collection of bird skulls; offers to collect specimens for Owen on voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake. [15 Oct 1846]

f.289 J. MacGillivray (Sydney) to Owen; Seeks support for appointment as Curator of Sydney Museum. [21 June 1862]

ff.331-335 Sir William Macleay (Sydney) to Owen; Introduces T.H. Huxley, Sir Charles Nicholson; reorganization of Australian Museum; G. Macleay; selection of curators; observations of J.D. Macdonald of H.M.S. Herald. (3 letters) [1850-1859]

ff.336-337 G. Macleay to Owen; Thanks for paper on Diprotodon; possible recipients in Australia. [n.d.]

ff.338-339 G. Macleay to Owen; Identification of Australian rat. [n.d.]

f.343 G. Macleay to Owen; Refers to capture of Australian ape and bunyip.[Jan 2]

ff.344-345 Sir William Macleay (Sydney) to Owen; Character of Zygomaturus; history of fossil collection in Australian Museum. [09 March 1858]

ff.410-411 G.A. Mantell to Owen; Hopes Owen can examine moa and other bones sent by son in New Zealand. [1847-12]

ff.425-426 G.A. Mantell to Owen; Thanks for lecture on New Zealand fossils; son resolved to find moa alive. [1844-02]

ff.429-430 W. Mantell to Owen; Requests discussion on moas.[May 5]

ff.434-435 W. Mantell to Owen; Inspection of moa bones at British Museum.[March 31]

Items of interest include:

MAR-MUN, 7 April 1833 - 2 April 1892 (File Volume 19)

ff.24-25 J. Martin (Champion Bay, W.A.) to Owen; Richness of area in fossils; offers to send collection. [01 June 1863]

ff.26-29 W. Martin to Owen; Encloses observations of Dr J. Scott on platypus. [(1843) March 29]

f.125a J. Michael (Paris) to Owen; Arrangements for moa bones to be displayed in New Zealand Court in Exposition Universelle. [27 March]

f.151 J. Miller to Owen; Discovery of small fossil bone in Tasmania; despatch of additional specimens on return to Tasmania. [20 Jan 1863]

ff.242-257 Sir Thomas Mitchell (Sydney, London) to Owen; L. Leichhardt; sends fossils from Darling Downs; fossils in Condamine basin; mineralogical survey of Wellington Valley; effects of gold discoveries; J. Bidwell; W. Buckland; visit to England. (6 letters) [1842-1853]

ff.354-355 F. Mowatt to Owen; Meeting of British Association at Montreal; excitement caused by theory on reproduction of monotremes. [10 Sept 1884]

ff.359-408 Sir Ferdinand von Mueller (Melbourne) to Owen; Election of von Mueller to Royal Society; opposition to Darwinian theories; despatch of meteorites; dissection of echidnas; despatch of platypus; separation of Government Botanist from Director of Gardens (1874); G. Bennett; F. McCoy; F. Gregory; Owen's knighthood; publications. (17 letters) [1861-1887]

Items of interest include:

MUR-OUD, 13 April 1805 - 1 December 1887 (File Volume 20)

ff.111-112 J. Murie to Owen; Thanks for paper on Echidna hystrix; generation of monotremes; F. von Mueller. [14 Feb 1866]

ff.115-116 J. Murie to Owen; Criticisms by Owen of kangaroo paper. [01 July 1866]

f.135 T.A. Murray (Sydney) to Owen; Fossil bones from Wellington Caves exhibited at Paris Exhibition to be presented to Owen. [23 Sept 1867]

ff.273-274 J. Nicholson (Woods Point, Victoria) to Owen; Examination of platypus eggs.[186(1) Sept 21]

ff.315-316 Lord Normanby (Brisbane) to Owen; Despatch of specimen of Australian cassowary. (copy) [09 April 1972]

Items of interest include:

OWE-PRI, 10 May 1833 - 29 October 1886 (File Volume 21)

f.26a Owen to Count Paul Strzelecki; Claims of Strzelecki to be first scientific discoverer of gold in Australia. (photocopy) [19 May 1856]

f.135a J. Parker (Admiralty) to Owen; Appointment of T.H. Huxley as additional assistant surgeon to prepare for publication materials collected on H.M.S. Rattlesnake.[29 Nov 1850]

f.155 S.R. Pattison to Owen; Offers head and parts of Tasmanian Indigenous Australian procured by Dr Sibbald of H.M.S. Fly.[15 May 1854]

ff.219-220 J.B. Pentland (Paris) to W. Clift; Prof. G. St Hilaire seeks information about platypus containing eggs sent to England. [10 May 1833]

ff.317-318 J. Phillips (Oxford) to Owen; British Association discourse on fossil quadrupeds of Australia. [07 Aug 1858]

ff.339-340 W.H. Pickett (Tring) to Owen; Wishes to purchase skins of Australian animals. [Oct 26]

ff.352-354 G.S. Pilcher (Rockhampton) to Owen; Sends fossils and skull of animal found at Coopers Creek. [12 Aug 1881]

ff.355-356 G.S. Pilcher to Owen; Sends letter on caves at Carcoa; seeks appointment at Fiji. [11 Oct 1876]

ff.364-384 S.R. Pittard (Sydney) to Owen; Arrival in Australia; Australian Museum; introduces Sir Daniel Cooper; despatch of fossils and casts; prosperity of Sydney; Sir William Denison; increase in salary; W.S. Macleay. (4 letters and printed papers and cuttings on death of Pittard (Aug. 1861) and fund for his widow) [1860-1861

ff.455-457 D.S. Price to Owen; Hopes to acquire moa bones from British Museum. [29 Aug 1863]

ff.458-459 D.S. Price to Owen; Account of discovery of moa bones; fossils sent by friend in Queensland. [08 June 1865]

Items of interest include:

PRI-RUT, 21 July 1821 - 1889 (File Volume 22)

ff.44-45 T.S. Ralph (Wellington) to Owen; Election of Owen as member of New Zealand Society. [05 April 1852]

ff.46-47 T.S. Ralph (London) to Owen; Requests introduction to Sir George Grey; seeks scientific position in New Zealand. [n.d.]

ff.48-49 E.P. Ramsay (Sydney) to Owen; Receipt of last number of Fossil mammals of Australia; interest in fossil fauna; sends marsupial found in Queensland. [09 March 1877]

ff.50-105 E.P. Ramsay (Sydney) to Owen; (23 letters) Subjects include: exploration of Dawson River; interest in a Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society; despatch of fossils; exploration of Wellington Caves; receipt of papers; S. Sinclair; skull of gigantic echidna; despatch of skull of Tasmanian wolf; lists of casts; bones received from Lord Howe Island. [1880-1889]

f.174 W. Rayner (Uxbridge) to Owen; Appointment of brother as surgeon on H.M.S. Herald; offers his services for scientific research. [10 April 1852]

ff.191-192 G. Reece (Worcester) to Owen; Loan of Australian fossils. [13 April 1858]

ff.263-273 Sir John Richardson (Haslar) to Owen; Receipt and dissection of Tasmanian wolf sent by Sir John Franklin listing of New Zealand fish; New Zealand bird bones. (6 letters) [1841-1843]

ff.324-325 A. Roberts (Sydney) to Owen; Fund for widow and children of S.R. Pittard; seeks new curator. [19 Dec 1862]

f.343 J. Robertson (Sydney) to Owen; £200 voted by N.S.W. Government for exploration of Wellington Valley caves. (copy) [16 June 1869]

ff.344-345 Owen to J. Robertson; Undertakes to study and describe any specimens sent from Wellington Valley. (copy) [18 Aug 1869]

f.370 J. Rooke to Owen; Unable to take part in Australian Exhibition. [26 Feb 1855]

ff.407-420 G.D. Rowley (Chichester) to Owen; History of moa egg in Rowley's collection; arrangements for making plate of egg; Owen's publications on wingless birds. (10 letter) [1876-1878]

f.444a J. Rule to Owen; Sends femur of New Zealand bird. [18 Oct 1839]

f.444c J.W. Harris (Sydney) to J. Rule; New Zealand clubs, carved box, and bones of extinct bird. (copy) [28 Feb 1837]

f.444d J. Rule to W. Buckland; Owen's paper on bone of New Zealand bird. [01 July 1843]

ff.447-448 G.J. Rumling to Owen; Platypus in captivity and its eggs. [25 Sept 1864]

ff.449-450 G.W. Rusden to Owen; References to Owen and moa in Rusden's book on New Zealand; effects of poison spur of platypus. [23 Jan 1883]

f.451 G.W. Rusden to Owen; Sir George Macleay. [26 Sept 1886]

f.452 G.W. Rusden to Owen; Sir George Macleay; platypus. [27 Jan (1883)]

Items of interest include:

SAB-SHO, 17 April 1811 - 17 April 1888 (File Volume 23)

f.24 Sir Edward Sabine to Owen; Paper by Owen for Royal Society on Australian fossils. [04 Nov 1870]

ff.30-31 I. St Hilaire (Paris) to Owen; Visit of Verraux to England preparing to lead French scientific expedition to Australia. (French) [07 May 1842]

ff.51-52 J. Salter (Cambridge) to Owen; Testimonial for F.G. Waterhouse. [27 July 1865]

f.112 Sir Herbert Sandford to Owen; Meeting of Royal Commission for Adelaide Jubilee Exhibition. [18 Feb 1887]

f.114 Owen to Sir Herbert Sandford; No amendments to report of Royal Commission. (draft) [1888-04]

f.115 Sir Herbert Sandford to Owen; Sends proof of report of Royal Commission. [07 April 1888]

ff.383-384 W. Sharpey to Owen; Appointment of committee of Royal Society to consider proposal of Sir William Denison. [28 April 1859]

ff.390-391 W. Sharpey to Owen; Sends casts of brain of South Sea Islander.[13 May 1864]

ff.398-399 B. Sheridan (Cardwell, Qld.) to Owen; Thanks for remarks on paper; effects of colonization on native fauna; sends letter from W.E. Armit. [15 Feb 1873]

ff.400-401 W.E. Armit (Cardwell) to B. Sheridan; Encounter with animal. (copy) [28 Nov 1872]

ff.425-426 T. Short (Nottingham) to Owen; Offers for sale collection of moa bones. [06 April 1849]

Items of interest include:

SHR – STO, May 1829 - 18 March 1889 (File Volume 24)

ff.22-23 E. Sidney (Sudbury) to Owen; Arrangement for moa bones to be sent to Owen; weapons found with bones. [08 Nov 1858]

ff.39-40 B. Silliman to Owen; Thanks for memoirs; ornithic fossils of New Zealand purchased by British Museum; ornithic and reptilian remains in Connecticut. [03 Dec 1856]

f.42 B. Silliman to Owen; Sends copy of American Journal of Science; awaits article on great Struthioid bird from New Zealand. [19 April 1843]

ff.48-49 B. Silliman (New Haven) to Owen; Thanks for monograph on New Zealand birds. [20 Nov 1848]

ff.50-51 W. Silver to Owen; Sends article on moa; refers to paper by 'Anglo New Zealander' (W. Buller). [27 Jan 1875]

ff.52-53 W. Silver to Owen; Publication of Owen's paper; report of discovery by native of remains of L. Leichhardt; E.A. Petherick. [04 March 1881]

f.81a A. Sinclair. Note on kiwi egg found at Mercury Bay; [06 Dec 1847]

ff.82-84 L. Sinclair (Auckland) to Owen; Theory of evolution; tendency to change in all animals caused by Law of Reproduction. [06 July 1869]

ff.247-248 A. Le Soeuf (Crediton) to Owen; Seeks advice on erection of models of extinct animals at Melbourne Zoological Gardens, especially gigantic lizard. [18 April 1885]

ff.249-250 A. Le Soeuf (Melbourne) to Owen; Platypus discovered at Indigenous Australian mission at Gippsland. [04 Oct 1886]

ff.318-319 J.H. Stallard (Leicester) to Owen; Seeks skulls of major races for lecture; coronal suture of Indigenous Australians. [13 Jan 1848]

f.322 Bishop E. Stanley to Owen; Sends young emu in shell sent by Capt. O. Stanley. [27 Dec 1848]

f.351 S. Stevens to Owen; New Zealand birds for sale, including femur of moa. [29 Jan 1855]

f.380 G.G. Stokes to Owen; Requests abstract of paper on fossil remains of Australia. [13 June 1865]

Items of interest include:

STR-VRO, 6 September 1828 - 25 May 1892 (File Volume 25)

ff.20-21 C. Sturt to Secretary, Royal College of Surgeons; Seeks naturalist for Northern Australian Exploring Expedition; salary; departure of scientists. [Feb 14]

ff.57a-66 W. Swainson (London, Auckland) to Owen; E Dieffenbach; E. Shortland; Governor G. Grey; publication of New Zealand and its colonization; skeleton of kiwi; English Christmas in New Zealand; W. Martin; bones sent by Sir George Grey from Cape of Good Hope. (5 letters) [1839-1858]

ff.90-91 Rev. R. Taylor (Wanganui). Account of discovery of large number of moa bones at Taranaki, including sketch of strata in the locality; Also a note by Sir Everard Home (Sydney). [14 Feb 1844-13 April 1844]

ff.93-99 Rev. R. Taylor (Wanganui, Farnham) to Owen; Sends moa fragments; association of round pebbles with moa bones; questions whether moa extinct. (4 letters) [1849-1867]

ff.235-236 D. Turner to Owen; Sends photograph of last of Tasmanian Indigenous Australians; account of conversation. [25 Feb (1874)]

ff.295-296 Sir George Verdon (Melbourne) to Owen; Regrets that specimens of platypus were not sufficient to settle question of generation. [18 June 1880]

ff.299-300 E. Verreaux (Paris) to Owen; Imminent departure on great voyage; seeks introductory letters. (French) [10 July 1842]

Items of interest include:

WAG-WIL, 23 July 1828 - 17 September 1889 (File Volume 26)

ff.19-20 R. Waitt (Casterton, N.Z.) to Owen; Discovery by McAlpine of recent footprints of large bird; offers to send gizzard stones of moa. [02 July 1860]

ff.21-22 R. Waitt to Owen; Bad weather prevented search for moa fossils; J. von Haast. [20 Jan 1861]

ff.25-26 F. Wakefield to Owen; Emigration to New Zealand; hopes to compile book on fauna of New Zealand; requests copy of Owen's book on moa. [06 July 1863]

f.27 W. Wakefield (Wellington) to J. Gowen; Difficulty of collecting moa bones; possibility moas still alive on Middle Island; hopes British Museum will acquire collection of birds of P. Earl. (copy) [11 Oct 1844]

f.28 W. Wakefield to J. Gowen; Despatch of specimen of moa; bones collected by W. Mantell; theory of W. Swainson of method of eating of moas. (extract) [12 Aug 1847]

ff.29-30 W. Wakefield to Owen; Thanks for work on kiwi and moa; copy deposited in Literary Institution at Nelson; surveyor of Otago directed to search for bones; collection of P. Earl. [01 Aug 1845]

ff.165-166 F.G. Waterhouse (Adelaide) to Owen; Thanks for publications; hopes more discoveries will be made of extinct flora and fauna in interior of Australia. [15 June 1873]

ff.167-168 F.G. Waterhouse to Owen; Unaware of reported remains of Diprotodon in South Australia; sends sketch of tooth of shark found at Lake Bonney. [07 Sept 1876]

ff.176-179 F.G. Waterhouse to Owen; Sends fossil remains of mammals from Adelaide Museum; encloses letter from W. Challoner offering to present collection of Diprotodon specimens. [08 Nov 1870]

ff.236-237 G. Weatherhead to Secretary, Zoological Society; Natural history specimens, including female platypus sent from N.S.W. by Lieut. L. Maule; quotes from letter of Maule concerning nests and eggs. [11 Sept 1832]

ff.293-294 W. Whisker to Rev. W. Buckland; Observations of growth of embryo possums at Sydney in 1835. [n.d.]

f.320 W. White to S. Yardley; Royal Society suggest fossil bones mentioned in letter of Sir George Verdon be given to British Museum. [25 Sept 1877]

ff.325-326 Rev. S. Whitmee (Samoa) to Owen; Offers specimen of Didunculus strigoiostrus indigenous to Samoa; willing to collect other natural history specimens. [02 July 1869]

Items of interest include:

WIL-ZUC, 12 March 1817 - 17 September 1889 (File Volume 27)

ff.1-12 C.S. Wilkinson (Sydney) to Owen; Identification of fossil sent by Rev. W.B. Clarke; discovery of incisors of Diprotodon; fossils from Lord Howe Island; loss of fossils in Garden Palace fire; fossil fishes sent to A.S. Woodward. (6 letters) [1879-1889]

ff.33-37 Rev. W. Williams (Poverty Bay) to Rev. W. Buckland and Owen; Discovery and despatch of moa bones; believes bird still extant in Cooks Strait; Owen's publications on moa; disposal of bones in England; Williams' election to Zoological Society. (4 letters) [1842-1847]

f.59 E. Wilson (Tenby) to Owen; Thanks for memoir of W. Clift; collection of New Zealand bird bone fossils sent by W. Mantell. [02 Feb 1850]

f.66 J. Wilson (Oxford) to Owen; Offers loan of fossil bones of moa. [31 Aug 1866]

ff.69-70 S.B. Wilson (Hawaii) to Owen; Thanks for comments on bird articles; hopes to collect Hawaiian birds for Natural History Museum. [27 Nov 1887]

ff.72-73 J. Cracroft Wilson to Owen; Forwards bones found near Christchurch; circumstances of discovery; theory that all animals in New Zealand were introduced by Europea [05 Feb 1855]

ff.74-75 Sir Samuel Wilson to Owen; Introduces A. Le Soeuf, Secretary of Zoological and Acclimatisation Society in Melbourne, who found six specimens of platypus. [24 Jan 1880]

ff.105-112 S.H. Wintle (Hobart) to Owen; Sends specimens of 'vegetable caterpillars'; unfortunate mistake in sending echidna uterus; criticisms of S. Allport. (4 letters) [1863-1876]

ff.143-144 W. Wood (Sydney) to Owen; Account of illness and death of Sir Everard Home; public offices and businesses in Sydney closed during funeral. [18 Nov 1853]

ff.158-159 H. Woodward to Owen; Date of discovery of hind toe bone of moa. [03 Feb 1883]

ff.174-175 H. Woodward to Owen; Thanks for promise of more fossils from Australia; discovery of Megalania remains on Lord Howe Island. [24 April 1885]

f.211 H.P. Woodward to Owen; Seeks testimonial for appointment as Western Australian Geologist. [17 Sept 1887]

ff.212-213 W. Woon (Waimate) to T.K. Short; Despatch of moa bones; believes Maoris used to eat moas; describes Church service at Mawhitiwhiti.[13 Oct 1847]

ff.267-268 W. Yarrell to Chairman, Publications Committee; Recommends publication by Zoological Society of paper by Owen on fossil remains of struthious birds in New Zealand. [23 Oct 1843]

ff.295-296 E. Zuchold (Halle) to Owen; German translation of journal of L. Leichhardt; unable to find Latin names for bandicoot and wallaby. [03 Jan 1850]

f.297 E. Zuchold to Owen; Thanks for information; requests Latin name of rabbit-rat. [02 June 1850]

Items of interest include:

Series. Manuscripts, 1804 - 1885

55 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reels M2282-M2288.

Subseries 25. Notebooks of R. Owen, 27 October 1830 - 14 January 1839

13 items
Volume 1, 23 May 1797 - 26 December 1831 (File)

ff.7-55 Dissection of an orang otang at Zoological Society; [27 Nov 1830]

ff.56-59 Notes on kangaroo

ff.148-78 Notes on orang otang; [30 Dec 1830]

Items of interest include:

Volume 2, August 1825 - 26 March 1832 (File)

f.3 Notes on canis dingo

ff.5-10 Notes on orang otang [05 Jan 1831]

ff.12-14 Notes on orang otang

f.15 Note on uterus of possom

ff.24-31 Notes on orang otang

f.39 Notes on orang otang [Jan 22]

f.52 Notes on kangaroo

ff.59-64 Notes on kangaroo [Feb 9]

Items of interest include:

Volume 3, 26 May 1831 - March 1832 (File)

ff.7-14 Notes on kangaroo

ff.15-16 Notes on orang otang

ff.47-50 Notes on platypus

ff.51-55 Notes on echidna hystrix

f.56 G. Bennett [26 May 1831]

f.63 Notes on echidna hystrix

ff.68-70 Notes on wombat

Items of interest include:

Volume 4, November 1831 - January 1832 (File)

Items of interest include: f.38 Notes on living kangaroo [03 Sept (1831)]

Volume 5, July 1831 - August 1831 (Item)

Items of interest include:

Volume 6, 19 August 1831 - 27 January 1832 (File)

ff.5-14 Notes on nautilus

f.31 Notes on platypus

ff.37-41 Notes on kangaroo [Dec 1831]

Items of interest include:

Volume 7, January 1832 - May 1832 (File)

ff.68-69 Notes on echidna hystrix

Items of interest include:

Volume 8, April 1832 - February 1833 (File)

Items of interest include:

Volume 9, October 1832 - October 1833 (File)

ff.4-6 Notes on kangaroo

f.7 Note on emu

f.15 Note on platypus

f.40 Note on emu egg [29 April 1833]

f.41 Note on platypus

f.44 Note on living wombat [May 12]

f.52 Draft letter to G. Bennett on specimens sent from N.S.W. [26 June 1833]

ff.55-58 Notes on platypus and other specimens of G. Bennett [June 28]

f.69 Note on kangaroo [July 16]

ff.70-71 List of specimens received from Australia [Aug 1]

f.77 Gestation of kangaroo [27 Aug 1833- 05 Oct 1833]

f.82 G. Bennett departing on Tuscan on voyage to South Sea Islands [Oct 1833]

f.84 Observation of wombat [26 Oct 1833]

Items of interest include:

Volume 10, 11 June 1833 - November 1834 (File)

ff.25-26 Notes on ova of platypus

ff.45-48 Notes on ova of platypus

f.49 Notes on kangaroo

f.65 Note on kangaroo [April 15]

f.69 Note on Astacus Murrumbidgee [03 June 1834]

Items of interest include:

Volume 11, 11 March 1834 - 22 May 1836 (File)

f.12 Notes on brain of kangaroo

f.17 Note on kangaroo

ff.57-59 Note on black swan [Nov 21]

Items of interest include:

Volume 12, 20 February 1836 - 9 December 1837 (File)

ff.20-23 List of specimens received from G. Bennett, Sydney [04 April 1836]

ff.39-40 Notes on rock kangaroo

f.67 Note on kangaroo

f.68 Note on koala

f.69 Note on kangaroo

Items of interest include:

Volume 13, 7 April 1838 - 14 September 1839 (File)

List of Australian specimens received from Lieut. G. Grey [14 Jan 1839]

Items of interest include:

Volume 14, 1838 (File)

Items of interest include: Notes on Apteryx (kiwi) of G. Bennett.

Volume 15, November 1839 - 14 October 1846 (Item)

Anatomical notes and sketches.

Subseries 33. Pearly Nautilus (2 vols.) (196ff.), 1832

2 items
Volume 1 (File)
1 item
Original notes by Owen when first dissecting Nautilus in 1831, together with successive drafts of Memoir (Item)
Volume 2, 1832 (File)
1 items
R. Owen. Memoir of the Pearly Nautilus (Nautilus Pompilius, Linn.) with illustrations of its external form and internal structure (London, Royal College of Surgeons, 1832) (Item)

The printed text is interleaved with manuscripts and watercolour and pencil drawings. There are letters of A. Valenciennes (Paris) and R. Hinds concerning specimens of Nautilus acquired by Capt. E. Belcher and Capt. Dumont d'Urville at Amboyna, 1840-1842.

The Memoir was based on a specimen of Pearly Nautilus found by G. Bennett at Erromanga, New Hebrides, in Aug. 1829 and presented to the Royal College of Surgeons in 1831.

Subseries 59. Manuscripts (2 vols.), 1839

1; Notes on Argonauta rufa; Found in stomach of dolphin in Pacific by Capt. P.P. King. (6ff.) [n.d.]

2; Rough notes on the crustacea collected on Pacific voyage of Capt. F. Beechey, (9ff.); [n.d.]


The article was published in J. Richardson et al. The zoology of Captain Beechey's voyage… to the Pacific and Behring's Straits performed in His Majesty's Ship Blossom in 1825, 26, 27 and 28. (London, G. Bohn, 1839).

3; Manuscript of article on crustacea in Pacific; [1839]

Items of interest include:

Subseries 61. Memoirs on the extinct wingless birds of New Zealand, 1838 - 1879

R. Owen. Memoirs on the extinct wingless birds of New Zealand. (London, Van Voorst, 1879). 2 vols.

Notes on discovery of moa bones in New Zealand in 1838-1842

R. Owen. Notice of the fragment of a femur of a gigantic bird of New Zealand. Transactions of Zoological Society, Vol.3 (1839) (pp.29-31)

Items of interest include:

Subseries 63. Manuscripts of Sir Everard Home, 27 March 1794 - 19 May 1832

68, Some account of the koala, (2pp.) [18 April 1804]

69, Bell. Mammals of New Holland, including platypus, wombat, buo buo, and also referring to Indigenous Australians at Herveys Bay, Keppel Bay and Gulf of Carpentaria, (5ff.) [n.d.]

70, G. Duvernay to Home; Publication of paper on reproductive organs of echidna. (French) [13 Oct 1814]

71, Manuscript on echidna. (French, 2ff.)

72, A. Cunningham. Memorandum on manners and customs of Indigenous Australians, (2ff.) [n.d.]

73, W. Richardson (Windsor) to H. Dumaresq; Search for platypus for Home. [28 Sept 1830]

74, G. Busby (Bathurst) to [H. Dumaresq]; Search for platypus for Home.[30 Sept 1830]

75, R. Hill (Liverpool) to H. Dumaresq; Difficulty of obtaining female specimens of platypus. [16 Oct 1830]

76, G. Busby to H. Dumaresq; Sends three specimens of female platypus. [27 Jan 1831]

77, H. Dumaresq to Home; Despatch of specimens of female platypus; introduces J. Busby. [17 Feb 1831]

78, J. Busby to Home; Delivery of specimens of platypus. [25 July 1831]

79-80, Manuscript by Home entitled 'A reexamination of the organs of generation of the Ornithorhynchus Paradoxus confirming the opinion of the female having no mammae', (7ff.); [Nov 1831]

81, F. Bauer to Home; Illness; female specimens of platypus brought by A. Cunningham. [31 July 1831]

82, A. Cunningham to Home; Confirms visit to discuss platypus. [30 Oct 1831]

83-86, F. Bauer to Home; Examination of female platype unable to discover any mamillary glands; returns Home's paper (4 letters) [Oct 1831- Nov 1831]

87, P.M. Roget to C. Hatchett; Paper by Home on Ornithorhynchus Paradoxus read to Royal Society in Nov. 1831. [19 May 1832]

102, D. Solander. Rules for collecting and preserving specimens of plants, (4ff.); [n.d.]

103 Notes on drying plants in sand, (1f.) [n.d.]

Items of interest include:

Biographical / Historical

Sir Everard Home (1756-1832), 1st Baronet (created 1813), surgeon, Keeper of Hunterian Collection, Royal College of Surgeons, President of Royal College of Surgeons, 1821-1832.

Subseries 63a. Lectures of Sir Everard Home on comparative anatomy, 1810 - 1813

ff.77-86 Lecture on digestive organs of cassowary [1813]

ff.95-105 Lecture on digestive organs of cassowary and ostrich [1813]

Items of interest include:

Subseries 71. Original drawings for lectures of Sir Everard Home

f.5 Kangaroo

f.85 W. Clift. Dugong

f.87 W. Clift. Dugong

f.90 Heart of dugong

f.91 W. Clift. Heart of dugong

f.93 Skeleton of dugong

f.99 Kangaroo unimpregnated

f.100 Kangaroo impregnated

f.102 W. Clift. Ornithorhynchus

f.103 W. Clift. Ornithorhynchus hystrix, copied from drawing of W. Bligh

f.146 Mrs Marsh. A fly insect from South Seas

Items of interest include:

Subseries 90. Miscellaneous Manuscripts (4 vols.), 14 May 1813 - 1981

4 items
Volume 1, 14 May 1813 - 1981 (File)

Royal college of surgeons; f. 26 Report by R Owen and W Cliffe on the arrangement and exhibition of specimens [n.d.], ff. 37-38 Copies of letters from E Home concerning the controvesy over destroying W Hunters manuscripts [1824]

ff. 17 Plan for lecture, comparing Edinburgh Museum with British Museum and their Natural History collections [n.d.]

ff. 20-26 Draft letter concerning the health of the poor in London plus questions and notes relating to the beneficial effects of light on human health [n.d.]

ff. 29 Note concerning the celebration of Queen Victoria's jubilee [1887]

Items of interest include:

Volume 2 (File)

ff.6-8 Account of discovery of Dinornis (moa)

f.23 Measurements of Echidna Hystrix

ff.154-191 Report on skeleton of Dinornis

Items of interest include:

Volume 3, March 1830 - May 1879 (File)

ff.16-18 Notes of analysis of emu's egg

ff.65-66 Report on fossils from Lord Howe Island

ff.152-173 Notes on Aptornis didiformis and Dinornis geranoides, including description of plates

ff.174-177 Notes on Dinornis gravis

ff.256-263 Notes on Ornithorhynchus

ff.264-272 Description of some remains of a gigantic land-lizard from Australia. (incomplete)

Items of interest include:

Volume 4, 10 November 1857 - 26 December 1884 (File)

f.76 'The reproduction of the monotremata', Naturalist [1885]

Items of interest include:

Series. Additional Material, 1 May 1765 - 1884

Monotremata, 1841 (File 1)

Aneurism, 1830 (File 2)

Anatomy of Birds (File 3)

Various Papers, 1838 - 1843 (File 4)

Odontography (File 6)

British Fossil Reptiles (File 29)

Memoir of the Gorilla, 1865 (File 30)

Monograph of the Aye Aye (File 31)

Fossil Replica of South Africa, 1876 (File 32)

Catalogue of Contents of Museum of College of Royal Surgeons, 1830 (File 34)

Metropolitan Sanitary Commission 1st Report (File 35)

Sea Serpentines (File 36)

Tracts (File 37)

On the Dodo, 1867 (File 55)

Anatomy of Limulus, 1873 (File 56)

Uber Die Bedevtungder Schadelknochen, 1807 (File 57)

Treatyse of Tyssynge wyth an Angle, 1880 (File 58)

Fossil Mammals of Australia, 1877 (File 60)

General Guide to the British Museum of Natural History, 1889 (File 64)

Lectures to the YMCA, 1863 - 1864 (File 65)

List of Orders and Medals belonging to Sir Richard Owen (File 66)

Two articles from Frasers Magazine, 1872 (File 68)

Armorial Bearings of Sir Richard Owen (File 69)

D.R.A.G.M. (Goodsir), 1884 (File 70)

Printing Types (File 72)

State of the Rooms at the Department of Natural History, 1 May 1765 (File 73)

Dinoris (File 75)

Document appointing Daniel Solander as joint President of the British Museum, 9 July 1765 (File 76)

Anatomy of Placuna Placenta, c. 1832 (File 78)

List of Books belonging to Richard Owen (File 79)

Presented by the Board of Trustees in 1915

Two Proof Copies of Bibliography of Writings of Richard Owen by C.D.Sherbon (File 80)

Letters to B.B. Woodward Concerning Owen Medals, 1913 - 1920 (File)