C. D. Sherborn published in 1940, under the imprint of Cambridge University Press but at his own expense, Where is the – Collection? This idiosyncratic listing of named natural science collections, and their fates, was useful, but incomplete, and uneven in its accuracy. It is argued that those defects were inevitable, given Sherborn’s age and wartime conditions, and that what might seem one of Sherborn’s less impressive works was in fact a pioneering work highly influential in stimulating the production of successor works now much used in curation, and in systematic and descriptive biology and palaeontology. The book also contributed to the development of collections research in the natural sciences, and the history of collections and of museums.
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