Portal talk:British Museum

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Portal review
Portal British Museum
Classification AM
Class A: General works
Subclass M: Museums
Classifier AdamBMorgan

Suggested texts[edit]

There's lots of available texts about the British Museum (collections and history rather than people) on the archive:

Does anyone want to pick one to start working on? I'm happy to help proofread/validate. Mike Peel (talk) 23:33, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Of those, How to See the British Museum in Four Visits (1852) looks like the pick of the bunch. Henry Ellis was something of an old buffer, and writes that way. The George Long book seems mostly not to be about the Museum itself. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:00, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Getting them uploaded and readied for production, alternatively listed onto author pages, is a lot of what the collaborative aspect is about; even recommending them for PotM and the like. Just going from the titles, I like CM's suggestion, sounds like a 19th Dummies Guide wink. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:07, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Very suitable. Charles Matthews (talk) 21:27, 9 June 2010 (UTC)


Author:Edward Edwards[edit]

I have created Author:Edward Edwards and placed the Lives of the Founders of the British Museum on it. Looking at what links to the author page, there is more to sort out. Charles Matthews (talk) 10:40, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Author:Frederic Madden[edit]

I think that there is sufficient evidence (and links) to show that Sir Frederic Madden wrote, and can get moved into the list and have an author page. — billinghurst sDrewth 00:35, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Author:John Winter Jones[edit]

Similarly has works authored, so can/should be moved and have author page and links. — billinghurst sDrewth 05:08, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Author:Edward Augustus Bond[edit]

Fits the bill, and I have uploaded images File:Edward Augustus Bond by Mildred Barham Platt.jpg & File:Edward Augustus Bond (photo).jpgbillinghurst sDrewth 17:45, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Author:Henry Martin Mayhew[edit]

Seeing reference to a Mr. Mayhew of the British Museum, and of the period the only writer that I can see is Anthony Lawson Mayhew. Parking until I get to do some research, though doesn't seem likely Page:Alumni Oxonienses, part 2, volume 3.djvu/151billinghurst sDrewth 15:40, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

I wondered about that too, "A paper by Mr. H. M. Mayhew, of the British Museum, on "A Revolving Extension Press.", Transactions of the Bibliographical Society 1895 which is Henry M Mayhem 1st page, but not w:Henry Mayhew (1812 - 25 July 1887) - is as far as I got. Cygnis insignis (talk) 18:30, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Henry M. Mayhew and R. Farquharson Sharp wrote a Catalogue of Early Printed Books in the British Museum (1910), but Mayhew died at a fairly early stage of the cataloguing. Charles Matthews (talk) 21:21, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Henry Martin Mayhew (1855-1910), shown as British Museum employee in 1891 and 1901 censuses, no obit in The Times.

Author:Barclay Vincent Head (1844-1914)[edit]

Catalogue of the Greek coins of Caria, Cos, Rhodes, &c.' by Dr. Barclay V. Head, Keeper of the department of coins and medals, British Museum (1897)billinghurst sDrewth 12:23, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

He's DNB in 1927 supplement. Charles Matthews (talk) 12:31, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Author:John Macfarlane[edit]

Macfarlane, John, 1866-1906 British Museum Library

I am looking for more information about this man. He was appointed the first librarian of the National Library of India. Solomon7968 (talk) 11:52, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
I find a fair bit on Google Books, searching for "John Macfarlane"+librarian. He researched the authorship of Hartly House, Calcutta, now attributed to w:Phebe Gibbes. Charles Matthews (talk) 12:44, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Author:Edward Maunde Thompson[edit]

According to wikipedia, he's was "Principal Librarian and first Director of the British Museum." He is also linked from the w:Template:British Museum directors. Cygnis insignis (talk) 23:08, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Images in table[edit]

I added the images to the table based on a comment in the Scope page. Then I added "null" images to keep the spacing the same; I'm not sure if this was a good idea or not. It does keep the lines equal and standardised but there's a lot of blank space now. The "Poet's Corner" example just used an elipsis (...) and left the spacing as automatic. Does anyone have an opinion about which looks best? - AdamBMorgan (talk) 11:41, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Nice work[edit]

Nice focus on one institution. Well done Victuallers (talk) 15:02, 21 June 2010 (UTC) A couple of these now have updated or new wikipages Victuallers (talk) 16:48, 24 June 2010 (UTC)


The subpage scope discusses the 'scope for improvements', without explicitly defining the scope of this 'Portal' page. After the description at the start of the page, the scope is indicated as including biographical texts and author pages. I just created the [empty] Author:Thomas Hartwell Horne, I included Cousin's short bio after finding it at wikipedia[!] (w:Thomas Hartwell Horne) because there is an established practice here of linking 'works about' at an author's page. If I include a link to the page here, the reader finds that his mention and the fact[1] that he worked there; what I link provides nothing more of direct relevance to the BM. Is the page about the BM, or texts about the museum, or bios of people who had some/any connection. I think subjects are better handled elsewhere, so are image galleries, I'm not sure what would be left after removing duplication of the sister's scope. I note that redlinks are also included, would that become a standard practice as it was in the Wikisource: [subject-type] pages. Just some general musing on this stuff, I don't know what portals are and haven't seen a definition, though I think we probably should have a page on BM because it is closely related to the scope of WS. My path was google->wikipedia->author, picking up SBDEL along the way; I 'remembered' this page existed. What would the likely paths be to, and from, a page of this type? Cygnis insignis (talk) 08:35, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I thought there was some more recent documentation than Wikisource:Portal: there has been quite a lot of recent threaded discussion, anyway. Fundamentally a portal is a gadget for user-friendliness in navigation, just to offer ways to find content. I thought there was pretty much a consensus that there was more needed in this line.
As for Horne, he did indexing work on the Harleian manuscripts, and so belongs on the portal under the criteria I used to set it up. The inclusion of redlinks isn't particularly meant to set a trend: the page was created as part of the Wikipedian-in-residence month (June) and the point seemed to be to expand fast. I put something up about scope so that others could work on the portal. In general DNB redlinks are not hard to fill in individually (about ten minutes), and I have done a number in "spare time"; it's just more efficient for me to do my batch method of 30 page proofreads as the main use of my time, because it knocks 20% or more off the average creation time, and over the 20,000 we still need to do, it mounts up.
The theory is that portals are found from other portals, in a hierarchy? Like categories, ish? The discussion of a Topic: namespace seems to get started then stall. Using the Portal: namespace for topical lists seems an advance on using the Wikisource: namespace in an overloaded way. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:59, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Employees with biographical detail[edit]

Following from Alumni Cantabrigiensis volume 2 (latter series)
  • John George CHILDREN — Librarian in the Department of Antiquities in the British Museum, and subsequently Keeper of the Zoological collections, 1816-40. Published notes on electricity and translated chemical tracts. Joint editor, Zoological Journal, 1824.
  • COOPER [post FORSTER-COOPER], CLIVE FORSTER. — Director of British Museum (Natural History) 1938-.
  • ELLIS, ALEXANDER GEORGE. — Assistant at the British Museum, 1883-1909.
  • ENGLAND, PAUL. Assistant in the Department of Printed Books, British Museum, 1887-91.
  • Godfrey Matthew EVANS — (reference to) assistant librarian at the British Museum; died May 25, 1875
  • FITZGERALD, JAMES EDWARD. — Employed in the British Museum, 1844-8; (may have written)
That's w:John George Children, and he has a DNB article (to create).

I'm currently confused on Forshalls: Josiah Forshall is the one in the DNB and fitting the description. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:26, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Correct, my error. Removed. — billinghurst sDrewth 13:56, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
vol. 1 (same publication)
  • BARNETT, LIONEL DAVID. Keeper of Oriental printed books and MSS. at the British Museum; retired, 1937.
  • BARNWELL, CHARLES FREDERICK. Junior Keeper of the medals at the British Museum, 1826-44.
  • BELOE, William, as per main, though it does list him as being an author, translator and annotator
  • BIRCH, WALTER DE GRAY. In the MSS. Department of the British Museum, 1864-1902.
  • BIRCH, SAMUEL. Hon. LL.D. 1875. S. of Samuel (above). Egyptologist and keeper of Oriental antiquities in the British Museum. D.C.L. (Oxford) 1876.
  • BLACKMAN, VERNON HERBERT. Assistant in the Botany Dept., British Museum, 1896-1906. ... Editor of Annals of Botany, 1922-.
vol. 3
  • GADOW, HANS [FRIEDRICH], In the Natural History Dept. of the British Museum, 1880-2. + author
  • GARDNER, PERCY. Assistant in the Department of coins and medals at the British Museum, 1871-87. + author
  • GEPP, ANTONY. Sometime .Assistant-Keeper in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.)
  • Antiquarian Archaeological Society.)
  • GILSON, JULIUS PARNELL. Assistant in the MSS. Department, British Museum, 1894. Assistant Keeper, 1909, and Keeper of MSS., and Egerton Librarian, 1911-29. + author
  • GOSSE, EDMUND WILLIAM. Assistant Librarian of the British Museum, 1867-75. + author
  • HARMER, SIDNEY FREDERIC. Superintendent of the Museum of Zoology, 1892-1908. Keeper of Zoology at the British Museum (Natural History), 1909-20, and Director of Natural History Department, British Museum, 1919-27. + author
  • HAWKINS, EDWARD. Adm. pens, at Trinity, Nov. 23, 1832. [Elder s. of Edward, Esq., of The British Museum. B. [Apr. 14], 1814. School, Charterhouse.]
  • Thomas Burgon, of the British Museum. (referenced through marriage to HIGGINS, CHARLES LONGUET) c.1853
  • HIND, ARTHUR MAYGER. Assistant in the British Museum, 1903; Keeper of Prints and Drawings, 1933-45 + author
  • HOBSON, ROBERT LOCKHART. Entered the British Museum, 1897, where he remained until his retirement in 1938. Keeper of the department of ceramics and ethnology and then of the department of oriental antiquities and of ethnography. + author
  • HORNE, THOMAS HARTWELL. Senior Assistant Librarian in the Department of printed books in the British Museum, 1824-60.

Banned from the Museum[edit]

Interesting story ...

  • HALLIWELL (post PHILLIPPS and HALLIWELL-PHILLIPPS), JAMES ORCHARD. ... Accused of taking MSS. from the library of Trinity College, 1844, and forbidden to enter British

Museum library, 1845.
Whole series of articles in The Times ... The Times, Thursday, Nov 13, 1845; Issue 19080; pg. 5; col F — The Case Of Mr. Halliwell.

Moving to automating from Wikidata[edit]

@Charles Matthews: Surely we can look to using Wikidata to auto-generate this page in total or in part. Would make a good proof of concept. Also a good opportunity for us to data check the information transfer to WD. — billinghurst sDrewth 02:10, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

Fine with me. Charles Matthews (talk) 10:05, 5 October 2017 (UTC)