The Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society

The Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society was formed in November 1862 at a meeting held in the Mechanics' Hall, Dumfries.  The meeting had been called at the instigation of Dr James Gilchrist, Dr J Dickson and Mr W G Gibson who had decided to 'call together local gentlemen interested in the cultivation of Natural History and Antiquarian Research at Dumfries.' The objectives of the Society were tocollect and publish the best information on the natural sciences and antiquities…of Dumfries, Kirkcudbright and Wigtown; to procure the preservation of objects of natural science and antiquities relative to the district; to encourage local research and field activities in natural science and excavations by private individuals or public bodies and afford them suggestions and co-operation. Membership rose quickly, and an active programme of fieldwork together with the personal activities of many of its members resulted in the continued expanse of its collections.  These were exhibited, along with those of the Dumfries and Maxwelltown Astronomical Society, in the observatory tower and main hall. In 1935 a formal loan from the Antiquarian Society to the Town Council was agreed.  In 1982 the collections of the Antiquarian Society were presented as a permanent gift to Dumfries Museum.  The collections represent the Antiquarian Society's work over many decades and include social history, geological and botanical material as well as archaeological artefacts. Celebrating 150 years, today the Antiquarian Society continues to provide a focus for those interested in the archaeology, human and natural history of Dumfries and Galloway.
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