Collections & Exhibitions

The BRLSI cares for an incredible museum, library, and archive collection. Our museum collection spans many disciplines: archaeology, ethnology, zoology, mineralogy, botany and palaeontology. The historic library is mostly focused upon the natural sciences, but also encompasses exploration, history, philosophy, and religion.

The collection evolved through the generosity of many hundreds of people connected with the city of Bath and many of the collectors’ stories are as intriguing as their donations. With so many narratives woven through the BRLSI Collection, it is bound, with careful curation and conservation, to remain a rich resource of learning and enjoyment for centuries to come. In the archives can be found every recorded aspect of the institution’s two centuries of inspiring learning for all, and amongst BRLSI’s most notable treasures are:

  • The exceptionally preserved Jurassic fossils of Strawberry bank, Ilminster
  • The correspondence, library, and collections of clergyman naturalist Leonard Jenyns, Charles Darwin’s lifelong friend
  • A 4.2-billion-year-old meteorite fragment (part of the first specimen ever determined to be of extra-terrestrial origin)

A team of volunteers with various specialisms and enthusiasms work alongside BRLSI collections manager, Matt Williams, to ensure the collection is secure, conserved, well-documented and accessible, not just to the people of Bath but for visitors from across the globe. It is now cared for better than it ever has been in its 200 year history. Although our collection is not currently on permanent display, we promote its use through annual thematic exhibitions and a dynamic programme of research. BRLSI also works with other institutions around the UK who hold parts of the collection on long term loan.

Each year the collections team make improvements in the packaging and storage of objects, but there remains a lot of work to do and that’s why the generosity of donors is always so much appreciated.

In 2016 BRLSI Collections became an Accredited Museum with the Arts Council England, and soon after BRLSI Directors proposed further development of their display facilities to make the BRLSI Collections more accessible to the public. Work towards achieving this goal of a permanent display is ongoing.

Currently volunteers are helping to broaden BRLSI’s cultural reach by researching objects for Google Arts and Culture, an online platform where worldwide cultural institutions can display high quality images of their treasures.

Howard Jeffs: Where it takes me

Friday 12 November – Saturday 27 November 2021 An exhibition of prints, drawings and paintings, selected from twenty years of work by artist Howard Jeffs. Open Monday to Saturday, 10am…
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Punch Magazine cartoon about the threat to Turkey by the Russian Empire prior to the outbreak of the Crimean War

Crimean Relics-An Online Exhibition

CRIMEAN RELICSAn exhibition exploring aspects of the Crimean War through items held in the BRLSI collection. Satirical cartoons from Punch magazines bring themes from the war to life. Above: The…
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And alongside browsing a selection of our collection items on the website and visiting the annual Summer exhibition in the BRLSI building, visitors can now make new discoveries by following us on Instagram. Our Instagram project #take5 features five images from our museum, library and archives, grouped by theme and is the perfect way to be with us in spirit even when you can’t be with us in person! If you can’t get to the collection then the collection can now get to you!

Follow us on Instagram

🦘Assumed from the label to be employed for catching kangaroos, a large string net in the collection at @brlsi is 3 metres long by 1.3 metres wide. But it poses a question: would it have had the strength to restrain a powerful animal like a kangaroo in motion? 

📷 : Collections Manager Matt Williams and Dr Jilda Andrews, Research Fellow, @ouranu / @nationalmuseumofaustralia.

Read more to find out: brlsi.org/news

#kangaroo #kangaroonet #IndigenousAustralia #Australianartefact #Indigenousartefact

🦘Assumed from the label to be employed for catching kangaroos, a large string net in the collection at @brlsi is 3 metres long by 1.3 metres wide. But it poses a question: would it have had the strength to restrain a powerful animal like a kangaroo in motion?

📷 : Collections Manager Matt Williams and Dr Jilda Andrews, Research Fellow, @ouranu / @nationalmuseumofaustralia.

Read more to find out: brlsi.org/news

#kangaroo #kangaroonet #IndigenousAustralia #Australianartefact #Indigenousartefact

11 hours ago
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1/9
🧪 Marie Curie was born in Warsaw in 1867, then a part of the Russian empire, now present day Poland. After overcoming great monetary and prejudicial difficulties in order to obtain a degree, she studied the new field of radioactivity alongside her husband Pierre - for which they received the 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics, in conjunction with Henri Becquerel.

She later carried out meticulous analysis to isolate the highly radioactive element radium, for which she was awarded the 1911 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. She died in 1934, her death being hastened by her exposure to radioactivity. 

As the only person in history to win Nobel Prizes in two different disciplines, Curie’s life was marked by incredible success - but also marred by awful tragedy - follow the link below to a recording of a live talk where you can find out more.

https://www.brlsi.org/talk/the-life-science-of-marie-curie/

Marie Curie c.1920
Public domain image courtesy of wikimedia commons

#mariecurie #physics #chemistry #radioactive #radiation #radioactivity #nobelprize #science #scientist #womeninscience

🧪 Marie Curie was born in Warsaw in 1867, then a part of the Russian empire, now present day Poland. After overcoming great monetary and prejudicial difficulties in order to obtain a degree, she studied the new field of radioactivity alongside her husband Pierre – for which they received the 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics, in conjunction with Henri Becquerel.

She later carried out meticulous analysis to isolate the highly radioactive element radium, for which she was awarded the 1911 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. She died in 1934, her death being hastened by her exposure to radioactivity.

As the only person in history to win Nobel Prizes in two different disciplines, Curie’s life was marked by incredible success – but also marred by awful tragedy – follow the link below to a recording of a live talk where you can find out more.

The Life & Science of Marie Curie

Marie Curie c.1920
Public domain image courtesy of wikimedia commons

#mariecurie #physics #chemistry #radioactive #radiation #radioactivity #nobelprize #science #scientist #womeninscience

1 day ago
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2/9
🎶If Jerusalem is England’s national Hymn, then pop icons such as Patti Smith, @U2 and @officialtheverve have kept William Blake’s cultural flame burning for future generations to enjoy.

Join us on Saturday for a full reading of the ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ from three local thespians desperate to show you just what makes Blake so important! 

Sat 29 Nov 11am-12.30pm 🎟Register for free via link in bio 

🙏 📹 @gwphotographyblog 

#williamblake #poetry #art #bookstagram #oscarwilde #poetsofinstagram #poesia #poet #blake #literature #poetrycommunity #songsofinnocence #curator #emergingartist #williamshakespeare #pandemicart #williamblakepoetry #democide #greenandunpleasantland  #arte #bhfyp

🎶If Jerusalem is England’s national Hymn, then pop icons such as Patti Smith, @U2 and @officialtheverve have kept William Blake’s cultural flame burning for future generations to enjoy.

Join us on Saturday for a full reading of the ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ from three local thespians desperate to show you just what makes Blake so important!

Sat 29 Nov 11am-12.30pm 🎟Register for free via link in bio

🙏 📹 @gwphotographyblog

#williamblake #poetry #art #bookstagram #oscarwilde #poetsofinstagram #poesia #poet #blake #literature #poetrycommunity #songsofinnocence #curator #emergingartist #williamshakespeare #pandemicart #williamblakepoetry #democide #greenandunpleasantland #arte #bhfyp

3 days ago
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3/9
🦋 #OnThisDay in 1859, Charles Darwin's seminal work 'On the Origin of Species' was first published. @brlsi can claim a unique connection to Darwin through the work of his lifelong friend and fellow naturalist Rev. Leonard Jenyns.
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Jenyns relocated to Bath in 1850 due to his wife’s ill health. He was a prolific writer of scientific works, as well as a collector of botanical and zoological specimens. These, together with his extensive scientific library, are still housed in the Institution's holdings.
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Jenyns was, in fact, the original choice for naturalist aboard HMS Beagle. However, he declined the offer due to his clerical obligations. He suggested that a young Charles Darwin be his replacement, and the two kept up a correspondence for many years.
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In our collection there are nearly 700 letters between Jenyns and more than 200 of his correspondents that stretch from 1817 until the 1870s. Darwin is, of course, the most recognisable name amongst them - but many other famous natural historians from the period are also present.
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‘On the Origin of Species’ alongside Jenyn’s correspondence
Image (c) @BRLSI
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Leonard Jenyns, age 85
Image (c) Cambridge University Library
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#Darwin #charlesdarwin #jenyns #originofspecies #museumcollection #museumhistory
⠀
🦋 #OnThisDay in 1859, Charles Darwin's seminal work 'On the Origin of Species' was first published. @brlsi can claim a unique connection to Darwin through the work of his lifelong friend and fellow naturalist Rev. Leonard Jenyns.
⠀
Jenyns relocated to Bath in 1850 due to his wife’s ill health. He was a prolific writer of scientific works, as well as a collector of botanical and zoological specimens. These, together with his extensive scientific library, are still housed in the Institution's holdings.
⠀
Jenyns was, in fact, the original choice for naturalist aboard HMS Beagle. However, he declined the offer due to his clerical obligations. He suggested that a young Charles Darwin be his replacement, and the two kept up a correspondence for many years.
⠀
In our collection there are nearly 700 letters between Jenyns and more than 200 of his correspondents that stretch from 1817 until the 1870s. Darwin is, of course, the most recognisable name amongst them - but many other famous natural historians from the period are also present.
⠀
‘On the Origin of Species’ alongside Jenyn’s correspondence
Image (c) @BRLSI
⠀
Leonard Jenyns, age 85
Image (c) Cambridge University Library
⠀
#Darwin #charlesdarwin #jenyns #originofspecies #museumcollection #museumhistory
⠀

🦋 #OnThisDay in 1859, Charles Darwin's seminal work 'On the Origin of Species' was first published. @brlsi can claim a unique connection to Darwin through the work of his lifelong friend and fellow naturalist Rev. Leonard Jenyns.

Jenyns relocated to Bath in 1850 due to his wife’s ill health. He was a prolific writer of scientific works, as well as a collector of botanical and zoological specimens. These, together with his extensive scientific library, are still housed in the Institution's holdings.

Jenyns was, in fact, the original choice for naturalist aboard HMS Beagle. However, he declined the offer due to his clerical obligations. He suggested that a young Charles Darwin be his replacement, and the two kept up a correspondence for many years.

In our collection there are nearly 700 letters between Jenyns and more than 200 of his correspondents that stretch from 1817 until the 1870s. Darwin is, of course, the most recognisable name amongst them – but many other famous natural historians from the period are also present.

‘On the Origin of Species’ alongside Jenyn’s correspondence
Image (c) @BRLSI

Leonard Jenyns, age 85
Image (c) Cambridge University Library

#Darwin #charlesdarwin #jenyns #originofspecies #museumcollection #museumhistory

4 days ago
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4/9
🌈 Feeling a little grey? - Come along to Queen Square this Thursday to brighten up your evening with Goethe’s theory of colour! 

A dominant figure in German culture and literature, Goethe was concerned with the human perception of colour, and came to doubt Isaac Newton’s established views. Join Professor Daniel Wolverson from @uniofbath as he guides us through Goethe’s methodology and findings with the aid of live experimental demonstrations.

Thu 25 Nov 7:30pm Tickets 🎟 £2-5
Book tickets via the link in our bio.

Portrait of Johann Goethe, 1787 (Goethe in der roemischen Campagna) by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein 
Image (c) Pixabay

#goethe #johannwolfgangvongoethe #colourwheel #colorwheel #colourspectrum #colorspectrum #newton #physics #optics

🌈 Feeling a little grey? – Come along to Queen Square this Thursday to brighten up your evening with Goethe’s theory of colour!

A dominant figure in German culture and literature, Goethe was concerned with the human perception of colour, and came to doubt Isaac Newton’s established views. Join Professor Daniel Wolverson from @uniofbath as he guides us through Goethe’s methodology and findings with the aid of live experimental demonstrations.

Thu 25 Nov 7:30pm Tickets 🎟 £2-5
Book tickets via the link in our bio.

Portrait of Johann Goethe, 1787 (Goethe in der roemischen Campagna) by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein
Image (c) Pixabay

#goethe #johannwolfgangvongoethe #colourwheel #colorwheel #colourspectrum #colorspectrum #newton #physics #optics

5 days ago
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5/9
Quartz - the second most abundant mineral in Earth’s crust, behind feldspar. Believing it to be a form of supercooled ice and sharing the same quality of clear cold crystalline beauty., the Ancient Greeks referred to quartz as ‘krustallos’, meaning ‘icy cold’. One of many fine mineral specimens in our collection for 

#MineralMonday. #MuseumCollection #macro #fineminerals #mineralspecimen #minerals #geologyrocks #crystals #earthscience #minerals

Quartz – the second most abundant mineral in Earth’s crust, behind feldspar. Believing it to be a form of supercooled ice and sharing the same quality of clear cold crystalline beauty., the Ancient Greeks referred to quartz as ‘krustallos’, meaning ‘icy cold’. One of many fine mineral specimens in our collection for

#MineralMonday. #MuseumCollection #macro #fineminerals #mineralspecimen #minerals #geologyrocks #crystals #earthscience #minerals

6 days ago
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6/9
Turned off the TV and want to do something less boring instead! You might wish to wake yourself up with our new virtual programme. From philosophy to poetry, ecology to exhibitions, there's something for everyone this week! 

Thu 25 Nov, 5.30-7pm, 6th Form Philosophy 
Thu 25 Nov, 7.30-9pm, Goethe's Theory of Colour
Thu 7 Dec, 7.30-9pm, Are We Psychologically Unfit to Live Sustainably?

Get tickets via the link in bio!

🎨: @gisijung #goethe #goethecolourtheory #goethecolourwheel

Turned off the TV and want to do something less boring instead! You might wish to wake yourself up with our new virtual programme. From philosophy to poetry, ecology to exhibitions, there's something for everyone this week!

Thu 25 Nov, 5.30-7pm, 6th Form Philosophy
Thu 25 Nov, 7.30-9pm, Goethe's Theory of Colour
Thu 7 Dec, 7.30-9pm, Are We Psychologically Unfit to Live Sustainably?

Get tickets via the link in bio!

🎨: @gisijung #goethe #goethecolourtheory #goethecolourwheel

1 week ago
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7/9
Far from done and dusted - the lunar environment presents a unique challenge for human activity. Check out this recording of a live talk with Dr @danbatcheldor, an astrophysicist working at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, to hear about the technologies being developed to tackle it.

Follow the link in our bio to watch the video.

Photomosaic of Tycho Crater - Surveyor 7
Image (c) NASA

#moon #moonsurface #moonlovers #nasa #moonmission #tothemoon #space #spacelovers #astronomy

Far from done and dusted – the lunar environment presents a unique challenge for human activity. Check out this recording of a live talk with Dr @danbatcheldor, an astrophysicist working at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, to hear about the technologies being developed to tackle it.

Follow the link in our bio to watch the video.

Photomosaic of Tycho Crater – Surveyor 7
Image (c) NASA

#moon #moonsurface #moonlovers #nasa #moonmission #tothemoon #space #spacelovers #astronomy

1 week ago
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8/9
Join Professor Louise Brown from the @UniofBath in finding out how cutting-edge innovations are used worldwide to tackle health and social care issues in this online event Innovation: The Key To Unlocking Better Health And Social Care, Tue 23 Nov at 7.30pm. Book tickets via the link in bio.

#Healthcare #HealthcareInnovation #healthtech #healthcare #digitalhealth #health #covid #medtech #innovation #technology #ai #healthtechnology #medical #startup #telemedicine #telehealth #wearables #tech #mhealth #wearabletech #medicine #medicaltechnology #hospital #wellness #doctor #cardiology #healthylifestyle #ehealth #iot #healthit

Join Professor Louise Brown from the @UniofBath in finding out how cutting-edge innovations are used worldwide to tackle health and social care issues in this online event Innovation: The Key To Unlocking Better Health And Social Care, Tue 23 Nov at 7.30pm. Book tickets via the link in bio.

#Healthcare #HealthcareInnovation #healthtech #healthcare #digitalhealth #health #covid #medtech #innovation #technology #ai #healthtechnology #medical #startup #telemedicine #telehealth #wearables #tech #mhealth #wearabletech #medicine #medicaltechnology #hospital #wellness #doctor #cardiology #healthylifestyle #ehealth #iot #healthit

1 week ago
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9/9
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