Friday, 20 July 2007

Lot More Linnaeus on Monday, July 16!

On Monday morning, July 16, our class had a lecture and tour at the Museum of London. However, that was the only time that Linnean Society librarian Gina Douglas and deputy librarian Lynda Brooks (in photo above) had available for me to interview them for my main project. So Dr. Welsh and Miss Wright kindly let me opt out of the class plan, and fortunately Katrina and I had spent quite a bit of time at the Museum of London this past Christmas!

I spent several hours at the Linnean Library, and it was a very worthwhile day as I began to visualize the ''bones'' of my required long paper. Lynda also gave me a tour of the building and I saw the well-known portrait of Darwin, who first announced his theory of evolution at a Linnean Society meeting. (Best of all, Gina and Lynda invited me to meet them at the Natural History Museum the next afternoon, for a private tour of the not-for-the-public Linnean exhibit in the Natural History Museum Library's Rare Books Room.)


After interviewing the librarians, I popped across the doorway of the Linnean Society into one of the other ''learned societies'' at Burlington House -- The Geological Society of London. There, just for me, the receptionist unveiled ''The Map That Changed the World.'' Simon Winchester's best-selling book of the same name was on our class reading list. That's how I learned about William Smith's extraordinary 1815 map of 'England and Wales with part of Scotland.' While doing research, I found out that a full size replica is on display in the Dept. of Earth Sciences at the Univ. of New Hampshire, my alma mater! (Note to my old UNH roommate Andrea Held: I bet you didn't realize how important that map was while you worked in the Earth Sciences Library during the summer of 1977?!)


Monday evening, several of my classmates and I walked to the legendary Old Vic Theatre just a short distance from our dorm. We were thrilled to get last-minute tickets to 'Gaslight'! I've been following Kevin Spacey's tenure these past few years as the Old Vic's artistic director, and am rooting for his success. If Monday night's performance is any indication, he is on the right track! 'Gaslight' is a Victorian thriller and the program says it was first staged in 1938, and won Ingrid Bergman an Oscar for her role in the film version. This production starts Rosamund Pike and she was terrific.

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