Statistical Science


Objects the department holds and where to find them

This webpage provides information regarding historical objects/tools that the department holds or has donated to special collections.

Where can I find Statistical Science historical exhibits in UCL? 

UCL Special Collections: Researchers can apply to Special Collections to access the materials. Categories: Galton Laboratory Archive, Rare Book Collections, Karl Pearson Collection, Department of Statistical Science Collection. 

Staff common room: Statistical sculptures, open library bookcase with historical books:

Image of a cabinet with sculptures and historical books

MSc reading room: Victorian Era books, Biometrika journals collection, old filing system:

Old filing system

Staff member's office: Quincunx:


Staff member's office: Flinders Petrie's craniometer

Flinders Pretrie's craniometer

Basement storage room: Chair, mechanical computers, pencil drawing of Pearson.


    We can offer tours around the historic exhibits of the department, for specific occasions like Open Days. Please contact s.j.dickinson@ucl.ac.uk to arrange. Locations include:

    1. Staff Common Room

    2. MSc study

    3. Basement storage room 

    4. Possible extra location of staff offices (depending on availabilty)


    List of materials donated to Special Collections 
    • Three bundles of books/publications from Karl Pearson's personal library (2 include subject lists in KP's handwriting). 
    • One file box of correspondence to Pearson (1920-29); Includes correspondence and licence for the removal of human remains at Spitalfields (1926) reference to the Chancelade skeleton; notes and measurements with diagrams of bones; reference material; photograph of skeleton of Jean Bart (French pirate)
    • One mounted photograph of Jerzy Neyman
    • Copy of a photograph of E S Pearson
    • Envelope address to Karl Pearson from Mary Soper, enclosing photographs of her husband, statistician Herbert E Soper (who worked at UCL)
    • File of correspondence to/from E S Pearson 'Pictures in Dept and coloured photograph of himself included' (1979)
    • Photograph of E S Pearson taken by Walter Bird (1970s) (relates to correspondence at E S Pearson)
    • Small file containing miscellaneous material and four photographs (3 of women working in the lab (c 1930s) and one of a man (Darwin?) seated and holding a child in his lap (c 1890s)
    • Oversize folder containing proofs of publication relating to Dwarfism for 'The Treasury of Human Inheritance' sent to Karl Pearson from John Clayman (1911)
    • Copy of radiogrpah of infant with Dwarfism (possibly used in 'The Treasury of Human Inheritance'
    • Envelope containing copy of Platt's couplets and various staff sketches (Kerr, Lankester, Ramsay) drawn by Goodwin (c18090 - 1910) + mWPK's sketch to assist with the identification of German spires, dated 13 November 1914
    • Framed photograph of Weldon bust ('413 Common room on back)


    List of materials donated to Special Collections but returned to Statistical Science
    • Box of microfiche teaching/publication slides, titled 'Pearsonal'
    • Envelope of 'Photographs of scientists, to be framed as opportunity offers' - all taken from unknown publication printed by 'Lock & Whitfield' - includes a short biography of each
    • Envelope of 'Copies of the 1910 photos and of the DeBiden drawing to be given away' - includes multiple copies of pencil sketch of Karl Pearson, four copies of a photograph of KP at desk, four copies of KP standing in laboratory with counting machine, copy of Galton profile signed 'Sincerely yours Francis Galton'
    • Photograph of statistician W F Sheppard
    • Small file of the secondary source reference material
    • Karl Pearson memoir
    • Bound volume of speeches delivered at dinner held in honour of Karl Pearson (1934) 
    • Copies of a photograph of E S Pearson x2


    Victorian Book collection stored in the Statistical Science MSc study
    • Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile, Speke, 1863, Cambridge University Press
    • The Laws of Thought, Boole, 1854, Walton & Maberly
    • Differential calculus for beginners, Edwards, 1896, Macmillan and Co
    • The Common sense of the Exact sciences, Clifford, 1885, Cambridge University Press
    • Lectures and essays (second edition) , Clifford, 1886, Macmillan and Co
    • Cross and self Fertilization of Plants, Darwin, 1876, London John Murray
    • Darwisim, wallace, 1889, Macmillan and Co
    • The ethic of freethought (second edition), Pearson, 1901, JC Black