“for the rummaging of my long smoked, mouldy, mouse-eaten papers would be no very pleasant job”
Smith’s description of the task of sorting his papers from a letter to his niece, Ann Phillips, dated 1 July, 1839. WS/C/2/0/394.
A meticulous observer and collector throughout his life, we are fortunate that so much of William Smith’s archive of papers, maps and sections remains today, carefully preserved and now digitised and catalogued at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Left to the museum by William Smith’s nephew John Phillips, the Museum’s first Keeper and Professor of Geology, Smith’s collection is the first of our archives to be digitised and featured on the new online catalogue.
To explore the William Smith archive click the link below. Collection-level descriptions of our other Archives will be available online soon, also at Collections Online.