Time Traveller: Charles Lyell at Work

Exhibition at the University of Edinburgh Main Library, George Square
27 October 2023 – 30 March 2024

Today we understand the earth as an interconnected system involving life and its environment, including the atmosphere, oceans, ice, volcanoes, and the rocks of the crust. How do we comprehend forces that operate on global scales and deep in the past, beyond the capacities of human observation? How do we think about the relation between humans and animals? Can we establish a science that transcends deep divides of religion, race, culture, and politics?

This exhibition explores these questions through the work of a key figure in establishing this planetary vision, the geologist and science writer Charles Lyell (1797-1875), revealing how he travelled to gather evidence, and collaborated with others. For the first time, Lyell’s comprehensive archive is reunited with his collected fossils, specimens, and published books held at the University of Edinburgh.

The exhibition is on in the Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh. Free and open to all, the entrance is just before the main security entrance, so feel free to pop in anytime 10am – 6pm. Further information is here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/library-museum-gallery/heritage-collections/museums-and-galleries/exhibitions-whats-on.

Expert curator Jim Secord is leading 2 lunchtime tours on Friday 27th October, 1pm – 2pm and Wednesday 1st November, 1pm-2pm. All are welcome, please register for either tour here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/curators-tour-of-time-traveller-charles-lyell-at-work-tickets-741447598727