Hugh Miller: introducing palaeobotany to a wider audience
The Hugh Miller collection (mainly NMS G.1859.33) held at the National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh, consists of 591 palaeobotanical specimens, 54 of which are of type and/or figured status. A preliminary assessment of this collection, in the light of renewed interest in Hugh Miller’s works in the bicentenary of his birth (2002), has provided new insights into this remarkable Scottish geologist. Miller, through writing popular articles in both newspaper and book format, publicized the various subdisciplines of palaeontology including palaeobotany. His distinctive writing style promoted public understanding of the science, and helped his readers to grasp the concept of deep time and the intricacies of past worlds. An appendix of type and figured material based on Miller’s collection is included.