Collection KDGL - GEOLOGY: King's College London departmental records

Key Information

Reference code



GEOLOGY: King's College London departmental records


  • 1828-1975 (Creation)

Level of description



6 boxes

Scope and content

Geology departmental records at King's College comprise correspondence, diagrams of fossils, exhibition photographs and negatives, 1828-1975. These notably include correspondence between Sir Charles Lyell, Professor of Mineralogy and Geology, King's College London, William Buckland, one time Professor of Geology, University of Oxford, and others concerning glaciation and descriptions of a tour of Italy undertaken by Lyell, 1828-1842; lecture notes on spectra, possibly compiled by Henry Clifton Sorby, geologist and Fellow of the Royal Society, [1859]; printed pamphlets on aspects of geology including microscopy and photography, 1857-1872; large hand-drawn diagrams of vertebrate fossils by Harry Govier Seeley, Professor of Geology and Geography, with Mineralogy, King's College London, [1876-1909]; manuscript catalogue of 200 different minerals belonging to Harry Govier Seeley, [1876-1909]; mounted photographs of Geology Department staff including Lyell, William Thomas Gordon and Professor James Taylor, and of Lyell's family estate, Kinnordy House, Kirriemuir, Scotland, fossils, various landscapes showing geological features and extracts from Lyell's papers, with negatives, for an exhibition marking the centenary of the deaths of Lyell and Charles Wheatstone, held at King's College, 1975; visitors' book, information leaflets and colour transparencies showing the exhibition on Lyell and Wheatstone, 1975; large display case containing the fabric banner commemorating Lyell's presidency of the British Association, 1864.

System of arrangement

Material is boxed in broadly chronological order

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

The first Professor of Mineralogy and Geology at King's College London was Charles Lyell, who resigned in 1833 in response to criticism that his lectures undermined accepted biblical chronology. The subject was taught under the various titles of Geology and Mining, Geology, Palaeontology and Mining, and Geology and Geography, with Mineralogy, in the Departments of Applied Sciences, Evening Classes and the Faculty of Science, Natural Science Division, from 1893. The Department of Geology was part of the Faculty of Natural Science from its inception in 1921 until the merger of King's, Queen Elizabeth and Chelsea Colleges in 1985, when the teaching of geology was discontinued and transferred to Royal Holloway College.

Custodial history

Transferred by the Department of Geology. The Department's collection of mineralogical samples was moved to Royal Holloway in 1985.

Conditions governing access

Administrative records are generally closed for 20 years except for published material and some committee and other minutes.

Files containing personal data are closed for 80 years and sensitive personal data for 100 years from the date of the most recent document in the file.

Where open, access is subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied from open material for research purposes only.

Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archives.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Finding aids

A brief hand-list is available in hard copy in the College Archives reading room.

Related materials

King's College London College Archives: Examination question papers (Ref: KCLCA K/EX); Secretarial series (Ref: KCLCA KAS/AC2); papers of Maurice Kingsley Wells (Ref: KCLCA K/PP 46); papers of Professor David Leslie Linton (Ref: KCLCA K/PP 49).

Related descriptions

Alternative identifier(s)

Genre access points

Rules and/or conventions used

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000.


Archivist's note

Sources: King's College Calendars and prospectuses. Entry compiled by Geoff Browell.

Accession area