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William Smith Bicentenary

Smith Map enhanced2015 marked the 200th Anniversary of William Smith's 'Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland', which is acknowledged as the first geological map of a country ever produced.

Celebrating the map was at the heart of the Library's outreach during 2015, with displays of Smith's fossils and maps, a new online exhibition, our unique collections on show at various events, and two special events (The Geologists' House and Delineation of the Stratification of Rocks) providing an in-depth look at Smith's remarkable work.  We also held a screening of the 1973 William Smith lecture by Dr Harrison Schmitt, 'Apollo and the geology of the Moon'.

In March we unveiled a newly re-discovered copy of the William Smith map which had been found during an audit of the archives in 2014. The copy is thought to have been one of the first ten produced by Smith (1769-1839), who went on to produce an estimated 370 hand-coloured copies of the map in his lifetime. The map was conserved and digitized in time for the bicentenary celebrations and was on public display at a number of events throughout the year.

BBC Article

Read an article about our newly re-discovered map on the BBC website

Online Exhibition

View our online exhibition about William Smith

Image Gallery

A selection of images from exhibits and events