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The Geologists' House

The remarkable work of William Smith, the 'Father of English Geology'

Thursday 9 July 2015
Bedford street 300As part of the bicentenary celebrations marking the publication of William Smith’s ‘A Delineation of the Strata of England & Wales, with part of Scotland…’ (1815), the Library hosted a special event for 60 guests in the Library's rooms at Burlington House.

Guided by our expert geological hosts, visitors to this special, promenade lecture show had the opportunity to view gems from the Society’s unique William Smith collections, entering in turn:
  • The Room of Fossils, to gain a practical introduction to William Smith’s recognition of the order of strata according to the fossils he found within them, which formed the basis of his geological studies.
  • The Room of Books, to see how William Smith developed and translated his stratigraphical theories to paper and created his seminal 1815 geological map.
  • The Room of Minerals, to contrast the different approach to the production of the Society’s ‘rival’ geological map of England & Wales issued by George Bellas Greenough in 1820 and compare the outcome.
  • The Room of Maps, to investigate William Smith’s other publishing collaborations with the cartographer John Cary and discover why they all failed, contributing to Smith’s imprisonment in a debtors’ gaol in the summer of 1819.

Online Exhibition

Find out about the life and work of William Smith in our online exhibition

Image Gallery

View a selection of images from the evening