Catalogue description British Museum (Natural History): Department of Zoology: Bryozoa Section: Correspondence

This record is held by Natural History Museum Library and Archives

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Details of DF 261
Reference: DF 261
Title: British Museum (Natural History): Department of Zoology: Bryozoa Section: Correspondence

The series consists of letters relating to research, curatorial and enquiry work on the Museum's collection of bryozoa, formerly known as polyzoa.

Date: 1930-1987
Held by: Natural History Museum Library and Archives, not available at The National Archives
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 120 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

The series was transferred to the archives in 1995.

Administrative / biographical background:

On the break-up of the old Invertebrate Section in 1922, the bryozoa were looked after as part of the Sponge Section, in the charge of Randolph Kirkpatrick and later Maurice Burton. In 1932 a departmental reorganisation led to the creation of the Polyzoa and Protochordata Section, led by Miss A B Hastings. Anna Birchall Hastings (b 1905) joined the Museum in 1927, being awarded a PhD in 1929. She worked on Antarctic bryozoa from the 'Discovery' and other expeditions, as well as on the bryozoa of the English Lake District. She married H Dighton Thomas of the Department of Geology in 1941, and resigned in 1943, although continuing to work regularly at the Museum until at least 1961. During the War important parts of the bryozoa collection were evacuated to her house in Kew. William Albert Smith, who had joined the staff in 1925, worked as Assistant on the Section for many years.

In 1948 the Department was once again reorganised, and the Crustacea and Polyzoa Section set up with Dr Isabella Gordon as Head of Section and Miss Patricia Lynette Cook (b 1927) as Assistant responsible for the bryozoa collection. Miss Cook published papers on African collections and on the larval development of the Membranipora and, in 1964 became Head of Section of a separate Polyzoa Section, which was renamed the Bryozoa Section in 1968. P D James Chimonides (b 1950) was appointed to the Section in 1970.

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