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Sponsor a book!

Michael McKimm and friends

Michael McKimm explains how you can now get involved in preserving the Society's priceless volumes.

Geoscientist 18.11 November 2008

The Geological Society Library’s Rare Book collection is one of the finest collections of antiquarian books on geology and related subjects, containing approximately 3500 volumes mostly published after 1800, as well as some 18th Century volumes and a few titles dating back to the 16th Century, and including impressive early volumes annotated by the 19th Century geologists who originally owned them.

Despite all our care and attention, however, the years have taken their toll on the bindings of many of these works and urgent preservation work is now required. The Geological Society Library would like to invite Fellows, Corporate Affiliates and other people or companies associated with the Society to help us with the conservation of these books through our Sponsor-A-Book Scheme.

Palissy We have compiled a list of seven great books in greatest need of repair. Each has been individually assessed to decide the level of work needed – be it a new spine, retooling of lettering or completely new covers – with the emphasis on being as true to the original binding as possible.

A special bookplate will be placed in each fully restored book with the name of the person, persons or company who sponsored its restoration and the date that the work was completed (if you wish, of course, your sponsorship can remain anonymous).

The restored books will be exhibited for a period in the Lyell Room so that Fellows and visitors can see the finished product. The names of sponsors will also appear on our website.

Please sponsor one of these important books and help preserve them for centuries to come!

  • Contact Michael McKimm for more information: T: 020 7432 0999; E: [email protected]; P: The Library, The Geological Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BG.
  • Visit the Sponsor a Book page for full details.


  • Title: A treatise on astronomy; Author: Herschel, Sir John F.W. (John Frederick William), 1792-1871 (ed.); Publ. Details: London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman; John Taylor, 1833. Restoration Price: £200.00
  • Title: Journal of a residence at the Cape of Good Hope; with excursions into the interior, and notes on the natural history, and the native tribes; Author: Bunbury, Sir Charles James Fox, 1809-1886; Publ. Details: London: John Murray, 1848 Restoration Price: £200.00
  • Title: Lettres mineralogiques et geologiques sur les volcans de l’Auvergne, ecrites dans un voyage fait en 1804; Author: Lacoste, Pierre Francois, 1754-1826; Publ. Details: Clermont: De L’Imprimerie de Landriot, 1805; Restoration Price: £250.00
  • Title: Oeuvres de Bernard Palissy, revues sur les exemplaires de la bibliothèque du Roi. Authors: Palissy, Bernard, 1510?-1590; Faujas de Saint Fond, Barthélemy, 1741-1819; Gobet, Nicolas, 1735-1781; Publ. Details: Paris: Chez Ruault, 1777; Restoration Price: £300.00
  • Title: Outlines of British geology, chiefly intended to illustrate the geology of England and Wales: with some notice of that of Scotland and Ireland. To which is appended, a glossary of terms used in geology and mineralogy; Corp. Body: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Publ. Details: London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1850; Restoration Price: £180.00
  • Title: Recherches sur les ossemens fossils de quadrupèdes, ou l’on rétablit les caractères de plusieurs espèces d’animaux que les révolutions du globe paroissent avoir détruites; Author: Cuvier, Georges, Baron, 1769-1832; Publ. Details: Paris: Chez Deterville, 1812; Restoration Price for 4 Volumes + 1 Atlas: £2000.00; Restoration Price per single volume: £400.00
  • Title: The coal-fields of Great Britain: their history, structure and resources. With notices of the coal-fields of other parts of the world; Author: Hull, Edward, 1829-1917; Publ. Details: London: Edward Stanford, 1873; Restoration Price for 2 Volumes: £500.00