BRLSI Manuscript Conservation Live for Heritage Open Days

Watch an expert conservator at work, demonstrating paper conservation techniques while working on the correspondence of natural scientist Leonard Jenyns, a key part of the BRLSI collection.

Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institutions will be hosting Annie Elliott, a paper conservator.
Visitors will be able to drop into the BRLSI and see Annie working in a temporary studio on the conservation of the Jenyns correspondence, letters from Victorian naturalists and other scientists, part of the BRLSI Collection. Jenyns was the lifelong friend of Charles Darwin, with whom he collected beetles in Darwin’s University days and worked with following his return from the Voyage of the HMS Beagle. Annie will be able to talk with visitors about a wide a range of techniques used in paper conservation and the care of historic books, manuscripts, and other paper items, using items from her own practice to demonstrate.

Annie Elliott has worked in the conservation of paper and books for many years, with a mixture of studio-based work on individual objects and on site work in libraries and archives. This has included work for the National Trust, All Souls College Oxford, The Royal College of Physicians, The Garrick Club, and The Church Commissioners, to name only a few.

Event Dates & Times

Saturday 9 September: 1000-1600
Wednesday 13 September: 1000-1600
Thursday 14 September: 1000-1600

Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2HN,

Charles Darwin & Leonard Jenyns

Step into the world of Charles Darwin and Leonard Jenyns with our video showcasing the remarkable Darwin Letters, a treasure trove of historical correspondence that sheds light on their extraordinary friendship and scientific endeavors.

Two letters epitomise the debate that raged in the middle of the nineteenth century between those who embraced Darwin’s revolutionary theory of evolution and those who held to traditional religious beliefs. Charles Darwin sent a copy of ‘The Origin of Species’ to his friend, Bath clergyman and naturalist, Leonard Jenyns, just after the 1859 publication. It had been the culmination of over twenty years intense work for Darwin, but it was also just the beginning of a controversy with profound implications. Listen to a reading of the letters and discover the reason why Jenyns was resistant to Darwin’s ideas, and what Darwin said in reply. BRLSI Collections have a number of letters exchanged between Charles Darwin and Leonard Jenyns, over the course of their lifetime. Jenyns had been picked as a suitable naturalist to travel on the ‘Beagle’, but proposed his friend Darwin instead, with whom he had spent many hours beetle collecting in Cambridgeshire. When Darwin returned from the voyage he sought help from Jenyns in studying and writing up the report of the specimens of fish he had collected. The two men remained friends and corresponded about natural history for many years.

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