Rocks - part of the natural history collection

There are over 500 specimens from a wide range of sources, the most unusual being 7 igneous rocks "found in the region of the South Pole during the 'Ernest Shackleton Expedition'", (recorded in the Council minutes as a gift from Lady O'Hagan in November 1911).

The objects were only formally accessioned and given an object number begin with the letter R in 1977, (see Accession Registers). There have been no further accessions since 1977. There are index cards but no photographs have been taken and nothing added to the Modes database.

The catalogue starts from 1951 with 40 items collected by J. D. Thackwray in the Isle of Arran and 37 items collected by J. MacFarlane in the Scottish Highlands. These and others, totalling 129 items, donated up to the 1970s provide full details of where they were found. A further 377 items were added to the inventory in the 1970s but with little information as to their original location. The items from the Antarctic are numbered (R335-R341).

The single largest group (R355-R506) was the bequest of I. L. Magson of Littleborough, a brass founder by trade, in 1952 . These rocks are recorded as from the Lake district, Scotland, Cornwall and many parts of Europe and across the world but it is unlikely that they would have all been collected personally by the donor. He also bequeathed over 1,000 flint implements found on the local moors to be part of the Archaeology collection.

Author: tk - August 2016