Scope and Contents
The earliest records relate to Woodward's will, estates and the administration of his fossil collection. From the 1880s, administrative records of the burgeoning Department of Geology, its teaching, examining, and students, survive alongside papers for the lengthy project to build the Sedgwick Museum. The archives also include the papers of Professor T. McKenny Hughes, Woodwardian Professor 1873-1917.
Conditions Governing Access
Personal records are closed to scholars for 80 years under data protection legislation. Restrictions are clearly indicated in catalogue entries.
Conditions Governing Use
Requests to publish text should be addressed to the Keeper of University Archives, photographs to the Head of Digital Content Unit. Both at Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR.
Biographical / Historical
The Professorship of Geology was established in 1728 with a bequest from Dr John Woodward of Pembroke College, who also left his collection of fossils to the University and its care to successive professors. Adam Sedgwick's professorship, 1818-73, greatly encouraged the study of geology among undergraduates in the years before the establishment of the Natural Sciences Tripos in 1851. The Department of Geology was established in 1882 with the institution of a specialised Part II to the Tripos and consequent increase in the number of teaching posts. It became part of the Department of Earth Sciences in 1980.
Woodward's fossils formed the core of the University's geological collections, subsequently augmented by gift and purchase. From 1734, the collections were housed in the Novel Room of the University Library. In 1840, they were moved into the Woodwardian Museum, on the ground floor of the Cockerell Building. At the death of Professor Sedgwick in 1873, it was decided to build a new geological museum, named the Sedgwick Museum as a memorial to him, on the New Museums site, on Downing Street. This museum opened in 1904. It continues to accommodate the University's geological collections, academic staff and lecture rooms. For further background information, see David Price 'John Woodward and a surviving British geological collection from the early eighteenth century' in Journal of the History of Collections I, no. 1 (1989) pp. 79-95.
17 linear metre(s) : paper and vellum
Language of Materials