Articles | Volume 36, issue 2
22 Dec 2016
 | 22 Dec 2016

The unknown planktonic foraminiferal pioneer Henry A. Buckley and his collection at The Natural History Museum, London

Marina C. Rillo, John Whittaker, Thomas H. G. Ezard, Andy Purvis, Andrew S. Henderson, Stephen Stukins, and C. Giles Miller

Keywords: natural history collections; digitization; open-access; zooplankton; sea-bottom

Abstract. The Henry Buckley Collection of Planktonic Foraminifera at the Natural History Museum in London (NHMUK) consists of 1665 single-taxon slides housing 23 897 individuals from 203 sites in all the major ocean basins, as well as a vast research library of Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) photomicrographs. Buckley picked the material from the NHMUK Ocean-Bottom Deposit Collection and also from fresh tow samples. However, his collection remains largely unused as he was discouraged by his managers in the Mineralogy Department from working on or publicizing the collection. Nevertheless, Buckley published pioneering papers on isotopic interpretation of oceanographic and climatic change and was one of the first workers to investigate foraminiferal wall structure using the SEM technique. Details of the collection and images of each slide are available via the NHMUK Data Portal ( The Buckley Collection and its associated Ocean-Bottom Deposit Collection have great potential for taxon-specific studies as well as geochemical work, and both collections are available on request.