Workshop: Working with Charles Lyell, 8-9 February 2024, University of Edinburgh


Two-day workshop, 8-9 February 2024, University of Edinburgh


Contributions are invited to a two-day workshop on the life and work of the leading geologist and natural scientist Charles Lyell (1797-1875), to be held in the University of Edinburgh.


In 2020, the University of Edinburgh acquired for the nation the Notebooks of the distinguished geologist and earth scientist Charles Lyell (1797-1875) and, in 2021, received a further substantial tranche of Lyell’s scientific papers and correspondence. An Exhibition on Lyell’s work and scientific importance – ‘Charles Lyell: Time Traveller’ – will open, in the University of Edinburgh Main Library, on 27 October 2023 (and run until 30 March 2024). A website on the Lyell material in Edinburgh will be launched this autumn. The Workshop – ‘Working with Charles Lyell’ – builds upon these initiatives.

The Workshop

The Workshop aims to provide a platform for persons interested in the life, work, and collections of Charles Lyell, and science in the nineteenth century, to come together to learn more of the Lyell materials held in Edinburgh, to explore how best to connect the disparate holdings of Lyell’s specimens and texts, and to consider future research possibilities on Lyell’s work and world. Contributions in the form of a paper to the Workshop are invited from persons working on any aspect of Lyell’s work and life, on the history of geology, or on related topics bearing upon Lyell’s writings and achievements. Contributions are also welcomed from curatorial or archival staff in institutions holding Lyell material or significant related material for an intended panel session on linking archival holdings and object collections across institutions. The Workshop will include an opportunity to see some of the Lyell materials in the Centre for Research Collections at the University of Edinburgh, and to visit the Exhibition.

Paper contributions: Papers should be 15 minutes in length (paper sessions are planned for 15-minute papers, 5 minutes discussion per paper). Please provide a title, an abstract (100 words), your title and institutional affiliation (if any), and an e.mail address. In selecting papers for the Workshop, preference will be given to PhD or other research students and to Early Career Researchers.

Panel session contributions: Please be prepared to speak for 5-6 minutes on the Lyell material in your institution’s holdings and the opportunities it presents for further research.

To Contribute

Please send in your proposed contribution to Professor Emeritus Charlie Withers via e.mail and attachment to: by Friday 10 November 2023. It is hoped that the Workshop Programme Committee will reply within two weeks of this date to confirm your involvement or not.

A confirmed Workshop Programme will be available soon after this in which further details will be given on location, timings, and costs of delegate attendance at the Workshop.