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Adams [née Bishop], Barbara Georgina (1945–2002), archaeologist and museum curator, was born on 19 February 1945 at Hammersmith Hospital, London, the only child of Charles Bishop, labourer, and his wife, Ellaline, née Cowdrey, cleaner, of 24 Lena Gardens, Hammersmith, London. She won a scholarship to ...

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Richard Garnett

revised by Heather M. MacLennan

Alexander, William (1767–1816), artist and museum curator, was born at Maidstone, Kent, on 10 April 1767, one of the three sons and one daughter of Harry Alexander, a coachbuilder. A pencil and watercolour sketch by Alexander of the street where he was born is in ...

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Backhouse, Janet Moira (1938–2004), scholar and curator of manuscripts, was born on 8 February 1938 at Marley, 90 Pickwick Road, Corsham, Wiltshire, the daughter of Joseph Holme Backhouse, cattle-food salesman, and his wife, Jessie, née Chivers; they also had a son, the sculptor ...

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Balch, Herbert Ernest (1869–1958), cave explorer and museum curator, was born in St Thomas Street, Wells, Somerset, on 4 November 1869, the second of six children of William Balch, brushmaker, and his wife, Sarah Ellen, née Smith. Aged seven, he won a scholarship to ...

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Herbert Ernest Balch (1869–1958) by Harry Savory, 1912 Wells and Mendip Museum

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Balfour, Henry (1863–1939), museum curator, was born at 6 Bedford Villas, Dingwall Road, Croydon, on 11 April 1863, the son of Lewis Balfour (1833–1885), silk broker of Croydon, and Sarah Walker Comber (1836?–1916). Educated at Charterhouse School and Trinity College, Oxford, Balfour obtained a second class in natural science (biology) in 1885. As a result of the influence of ...

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Henry Balfour (1863–1939) by Walter Stoneman, 1926 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bedford, Richard Perry (1883–1967), sculptor and curator, was born on 15 November 1883 at 4 Chatsworth Terrace, Berner's Hill, Torquay, Devon, the second son of the four children of George Bedford (d. 1920) and his wife, Maria, née Harris. George Bedford was the principal of ...

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Birch, George Henry (1842–1904), architect and museum curator, was born on 2 January 1842 in Canonbury, London, the fourth son of Charles Birch and his wife, Emma Eliza Cope. He was educated at Darnell's private academy in Theberton Street, Islington, and was articled in 1858 to the architect ...

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Blair, Claude (1922–2010), museum curator and scholar of arms and armour, was born on 30 November 1922 at Westonby, Edge Lane, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, the only child of William Henry Murray Blair (1875–1945), cotton-goods salesman, and his wife, Lilian, née Wearing (1891–1983). At the time of his birth his parents lived at ...

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Brighton, Albert George [Peter] (1900–1988), palaeontologist and curator, was born on 29 December 1900 at 13 Conyers Road, Streatham, London, the son of George Freeston Brighton, gardener, and his wife, Susan Alice Jayne. He was educated at St Leonard's School, Streatham, and Westminster City School...

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Albert George Brighton (1900–1988) by unknown photographer [centre, in fedora] © reserved; photograph courtesy of Nicola Hanscombe

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Buckland [née Morland], Mary (1797–1857), geological artist and curator, was born on 20 November 1797 in St Helen's parish, Abingdon, Berkshire, the eldest daughter of Benjamin Morland (1768–1833), solicitor (and a member of the West Ilsley brewing family), and his wife, Harriet Baster (1777–1799)...

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Buckle, (Christopher) Richard Sandford [Dicky] (1916–2001), ballet critic and exhibition organizer, was born on 6 August 1916 at Old Cottage, Warcop, Westmorland, the only child of Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Galbraith Buckle (d. 1918), of the Northamptonshire regiment, and his wife, Rose Evelyn, née...

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Carter [née Fantl], Ernestine Marie (1906–1983), museum curator and writer on fashion, was born on 10 October 1906 in Savannah, Georgia, USA, the daughter of Siegfried Fantl. Carter was brought up in Savannah. She graduated from Wellesley College, Massachusetts, in 1927, where, remarkably for the time, she studied modern and contemporary art and design under the tutelage of ...

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Chamot, Mary (1899–1993), art historian and museum curator, was born in Strelna, near St Petersburg, Russia, on 8 November 1899, the only child of Alfred Edward Chamot (1855–1934) and Elisabeth, née Grooten (1854–1935). Her English-born father was of French descent, her mother of Dutch and German origin. He was administrator of the imperial palace gardens, and belonged to the prosperous Anglo-Russian merchant community. Educated privately, ...

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Clift, William (1775–1849), museum curator and scientific illustrator, was born at Burcombe, near Bodmin, Cornwall, on 14 February 1775, and was baptized (as William Cleft) in the Bodmin parish church on 12 April that year. He was the youngest of the seven children (...

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Clift, William Home (1803–1832), museum curator, was born on 20 May 1803 at the home of the late John Hunter, 13 Castle Street, Leicester Square, London, the second of two children of William Clift (1775–1849), natural scientist and first conservator of the Hunterian Museum...

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John Arthur Coiley (1932–1998) by unknown photographer, 1992 Science & Society Picture Library

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Coiley, John Arthur (1932–1998), museum curator, was born on 29 March 1932 at 3 Pilgrim Hill, West Norwood, London, the only son of Arthur Henry George Coiley (1896–1993), a share transfer clerk and later a company registrar, and his wife, Stella, née Chinnock (1901–1985)...