Books, Glorious Books

An wide array of natural history books have been donated to the North East Natural History Library by Alisoun Gardner-Medwin.

About the Books

Taking readers on a journey across the globe, many of these books are beautifully illustrated. As expected with a donation of around 500 books, many subject matters are covered. Much of the collection covers birding across the globe. It has been a delight to discover them, and we can’t wait for more people to discover them at the Natural History Library, too.

Alisoun Gardner-Medwin’s late husband, David, collected the books throughout his life. He was a passionate naturalist and expert on Thomas Bewick. The latter being one of the most well-recognised North East naturalists in history. He was interested in birds and botany, studying natural sciences at Cambridge University. He published his first paper on bird migration across the Pyrenees.

The collection has been admired by both volunteers and staff. It includes some older and rare books. A real insight into the history of natural history. It was David’s life-long interest in Thomas Bewick that started his passion for restoring and collecting old books, to which we owe this aspect of the collection.

David Gardner-Medwin

David was chairman of the NHSN’s library committee in the 1980’s and was described as an asset to the society, with his energy, focus and generosity. Later becoming Chairman of the Council, David is remembered fondly at NHSN. His expertise of rare books helped build the Natural History Library, which was recognised with the rare bookstore being named after him.

Available to Purchase

This incredible donation of books has been sorted meticulously by volunteers into subject type. Copies already found at the Natural History Library will be available to purchase from the Council Room at the Great North Museum: Hancock between 10am and 4pm from 30 January. All proceeds will go to NHSN charitable activities.

We would like to thank Alisoun for her donation. We hope that you will enjoy looking through the collection as we have, finding something special to learn from, take home and treasure.