Natural History Museum
Biographical Account: During the late 19th century, it wasn't unusual for important specimens from the national collections, held in London, to be transferred to regional museums, such as Weston Park Museum. In the days before genetics and the uniqueness of individual specimens were fully understood, it was deemed pointless for a single institution to possess many specimens of the same species. These were considered 'duplicates' and superfluous to requirements. The Trustees of the British Museum, who at the time governed both the British Museum and the Natural History Museum (as the two institutes share a common ancestor), were responsible for authorising the transfers. Elijah Howarth, Weston Park Musuem's curator during the late 19th century, was very well known in the museum world. He knew Richard Owen, the founder curator of the Natural History Museum, and perhaps through these links, he was able to secure quite sizable transfers from the capital. Amongst the transfers were birds collected by Alfred Russell Wallace and Richard Bowdler Sharpe, not to mention countless invertebrates that are still being investigated.