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Records of Edinburgh Geological Society
    Minutes of General Meetings

Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Division

Minute Book No III

Item Summary

Reference Code

GB 0237 Edinburgh Geological Society MS 2917.3


07 July 1842 - 02 May 1850

Extent and medium of the unit of description



Name of creator

Edinburgh Geological Society | 1834-: | scientific society, Edinburgh (Scotland)

Scope and Content

Scope and Content

Notebook containing minutes of meetings. Membership details include: details of new and retiring members, those who attended each meeting and deaths. Newspaper obituaries for George Sanderson and Hugh Smith are pasted into the book. The financial affairs of the Society are reported, and a newspaper clipping with the annual report for 1847 included. Details of the development of the society library are minuted.

Abstracts of member's papers are minuted, along with the resultant discussions These include: " Raised beaches, parallel terraces and other indications of alteration in the former level of the sea", "Glacier theory", and, following a series of public lectures, from the astronomer, Professor John Pringle Nichol, "The physical constitution of the moon." The dilemma of reconciling geological evidence with Biblical accounts of Creation and the Flood are debated. Papers related to this topic include: "Vestiges of the natural history of creation", "Connection between the science of geology and the Mosaic account of creation" and "Has there been an entire destruction of organic life at any period since its first introduction on this earth". In 1846 a Mr Sotherby asks the members to state their beliefs concerning this topic, the invitation was declined but his request is minuted. Details of various papers delivered on the geology of local area are also included .

A paper submitted by a non-member, a Fife miner, was read and debated "Origin and formation of coal".

Minutes concerning reviews and discussions of published geological works are included.

Demonstrations undertaken include: "Lapis Lazuli", "The upper part of the leg of the dodo" several demonstrations of microscope use and an experiment to discover if a live toad can survive sealed into rock.

Intimations include a report that Hugh Millar had found bones of a plesiosaurus on the Isle of Eigg.

Summer excursions minuted include: Joppa Quarry, Blackford Hill, the Union Canal at Slateford and a limestone quarry at Kirkcaldy.

Alexander Rose delivered 9 monthly lectures on mineralogy, on behalf of the society, in 1843 and the details of the content of these are minuted. Details are also included of a series of public lectures on geology which he delivered in 1845.

A handwritten paper entitled "Analysis of Minerals" by Matthew Forster Heddle is pasted into the end of the notebook.




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