ABSTRACT

Joseph Banks's first and formative contact at the Museum was with Daniel Solander, who was employed in 1763 to make a 'Catalogue of the Collections of Natural History in the Museum'. Banks's range of contacts was growing with his status, and as the range of empire itself increased so too did the diversity of natural and artificial products arriving at the British Museum through him. Banks's gift to the Museum was among the larger and more important South Sea zoological collections that had been donated by a private individual. It included material from the Endeavour mission and from Cook's 'subsequent Voyages'. In January 1792 Museum officers were invited to Soho Square to take away every specimen not already represented at the British Museum, thanks being given to 'Sir Joseph Banks, for his very valuable Donation'. As President of the Royal Society, Banks was well placed to assist with the arrangements, since he was a trustee of the Museum too.