Sir Charles James Fox Bunbury papers, 1845-1852


Date: 1845-1852 | Size: 0.25 Linear feet, 20 items


There are botanical notebooks which concern Bunbury's study of fossil plants in general, with special studies on the fossil plants in the Geological Society in Richmond, Virginia, and at Aix-la-Chapelle, Cape Breton Island, and Pennsylvania. There is also a historical sketch of eminent English naturalists.

Background note

During the 1850s, Sir Charles James Fox Bunbury, 8th Baronet Bunbury, was Britain's leading paleobotanist, who published a series of papers on fossil floras of Carboniferous, Jurassic and Neogene age.

Collection Information

Physical description

20 items.


Purchased from Rendell ($200.00) and accessioned, 09/08/1969 (1969 1275ms).

Early American History Note

The Charles Bunbury Collection contains a wealth of information on fossils. Sir Charles Bunbury was a nineteenth century geologist and paleontologist. The majority of the documents in collection are Bunbury's own notes on the subject of fossils. These very detailed notes contain a wealth of information on fossil finds and can provide insight into the prevailing ideas and debates about fossil remains. The collection includes a range of material, including a draft of an essay on algae, reports and analysis of important fossil finds, and reviews and notes on recent publications. The collection also includes a number of Bunbury's private notebooks in which he describes fossils he has seen or read about in great detail, thus giving modern researchers access to information on remains that may no longer be in existence.

These notebooks range from general notes on geology, mineralogy, and botany to notebooks on specific fossils and places. One of his notebooks, for instance, details fossils found in the Geological Society Museum, recounting where it was discovered and what it looks like. Other notebooks describe fossilized plants from Richmond, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Sydney, Cape Breton, fossilized ferns from Aix-la-Chapelle, and miscellaneous finds from other places such as Portage County, Ohio.

Although Bunbury was interested in geology and fossils in general, the bulk of this collection and his own work focused on fossilized flora.

Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • Geological Society (Richmond, Va.). Museum


  • Manuscript Essays
  • Notebooks
  • Notebooks.
  • Scientific Data
  • Sketchbooks

Geographic Name(s)

  • Naturalists - England


  • Fossil fuels -- Pennsylvania.
  • Mineralogy
  • Natural history
  • Paleobotany -- Germany -- Aachen.
  • Paleobotany -- Nova Scotia -- Cape Breton Island.
  • Paleobotany -- Pennsylvania.
  • Science and technology

Detailed Inventory

 Notes on fossil botany for Sir C. Lemon(copy).
1845 July 4 Box 1:
folder 1
 Notes on fossil plants in the museum of the Geological Society.
1845 Box 1:
folder 2
 On Algae, recent and fossil.
1852 Box 1:
folder 3

First sketch.

 Analysis of Corda's Beitrage. Rough copy.
undated Box 1:
folder 4
 Biographical notices of eminent English naturalists.
undated Box 1:
folder 5
 Botanical notebook.
undated Box 1:
folder 6
 Botanical notebook.
[1827-1830] Box 1:
folder 7
 Botany and mineralogy notebook.
undated Box 1:
folder 8
 Descriptions of fossil plants.
undated Box 1:
folder 9
 Descriptions of fossil plants from Richmond, Virginia.
undated Box 1:
folder 10
 Fossil coniferous woods.
undated Box 1:
folder 11
 Fossil ferns of Aix-la-Chapelle.
undated Box 1:
folder 12
 Fossil plants from Sydney, Cape Breton.
undated Box 1:
folder 13
 Miscellaneous notes on plants and fossil plants.
undated Box 1:
folder 14

Lecture on the islands of Madeira and Teneriffe. (Newspaper account)

 Notes from Lesquereux on fossil plants of coal form of Pennsylvania.
undated Box 1:
folder 15
 Notes of "Genera of Fossil Plants.
undated Box 1:
folder 16
 Notes on fossil plants from the coal formation of North America.
undated Box 1:
folder 17
 Notes on some plants that I have drawn.
undated Box 1:
folder 18
 Table of genera of fossil plants.
undated Box 1:
folder 19
 Composition for laying on any part of a tree, where a limb, branch, or any decayed part has been cut off.
undated Box 1:
folder 20

Background note: Author was not Sir Charles Bunbury.