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An Enquiring Mind

FRANCIS GALTON 1822 - 1911
Drawing of Galtonia candicans Letter from Downing Street proposing knighthood, June 1909 Proof of lecture to the Sociological Society Cover of manuscript of Galton's unpublished novel Kantsaywhere Excerpt from manuscript of Galton's unpublished novel Kantsaywhere Watercolour of Galtonia candicans Journal, drawing and description of Walfisch Bay Title page of Mrs Wheeler's account of the Galton family Galton's passport case, 1845 Galton's passport, 1845 Early attempt at writing his own name Baptism certificate Proof copy of Natural Inheritence Weather chart Meteorographica, or, Methods of mapping the weather Sketch of the last meeting of the Caseo-Tostic Club Sketch of Calton Hill Watercolour of flowers by Francis Galton, aged 8 Sketch of childhood aerostatic project Drawing of Dresden Dalmation Templemore Queen Scottish Terrier Heather Bob Galton's handprint Portraits of Galton's grandfather and mother Portraits of Galton's grandfather and mother Portraits of Galton's grandfather and mother A portrait of Francis Galton, aged 38 A portrait of Francis Galton, aged 18 A portrait of Francis Galton, aged 28 A portrait of Francis Galton, aged 56 A portrait of Francis Galton, aged c. 50 Pedigree horses: Carouse and Oatlands Pedigree horses: Carouse and Oatlands Notebook on family faculties Pedigree Alnwick Shorthorn cattle: Sunstreak Photograph of the second South Kensington Anthropometric Laboratory Pamphlet on anthropometric instruments Pamphlet on anthropometric instruments Record card from the Anthropometric Laboratory Darwin family tree Poster for the South Kensington Anthropometric Laboratory Galton at Bertillon's laboratory Lock of baby hair Francis Galton's Wallet Reader's ticket for the British Museum Reading Room, 1879 Explanation of the conventional representation of a galloping horse Three flip books of cinematographic sequences Combinations of temper in marriage Classification of tempers


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About the exhibition

Download the Exhibition Catalogue

An exhibition of material from UCL Library Services Special Collections, with additional items on loan from UCL Museums & Collections, March-December 2011. Opened by Sir Mark Walport on 7 April 2011.

This exhibition in the Main Library was part of a Galton Centenary programme taking place at UCL to mark the anniversary of Sir Francis Galton's death in January 1911. Deposited at UCL by his executors, Special Collections holds papers and correspondence relating to Galton's personal history, family and scientific work, while Museums & Collections holds his scientific instruments and other personal memorabilia.

Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, was a significant figure in his own right as his knighthood, fellowship of the Royal Society and other distinctions attest. His contributions to understanding of weather systems, fingerprinting, statistical methods and genetics are as relevant today as they were in his lifetime. Providing a window onto his private life as well as a sample of his many and diverse interests and investigations, items on display in this exhibition ranged from family mementos and evidence of Galton as a child prodigy, to the records and output of his research and enduring fascination with measurement.

Alongside the exhibition, the manuscript fragment of Sir Francis Galton's unpublished utopian novel The Eugenic College of Kantsaywhere (c.1910), was digitised and made available online together with letters about its suitability for publication. The novel is presented as 'Extracts from the Journal of the late Professor I. Donoghue'. Donoghue, from Dunno Weir, is a professor of vital statistics who arrives in Kantsaywhere and submits to a series of examinations for a eugenics degree in order to be eligible to marry the object of his affections, Miss Allfancy. After Galton's death, this single remaining copy was bowdlerised by his niece Milly who "destroyed all the story, all poor Miss Augusta, the Nonnyson anecdotes, and in fact everything not to the point". What remained was passed to Galton's biographer, Professor Karl Pearson. Writer and broadcaster Dr Matthew Sweet has provided an introduction to the novel, setting it in its contemporary contexts.

Videos about Francis Galton

Excerpt from talk entitled "Ideas Man: The Stranger Notions of Sir Francis Galton" given by Dan Maier on 7th June 2011

Filmmaker: Tom Guerrier