Nelson Annandale
Thomas Nelson Annandale CIE (15 June 1876, Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 - 10 April 1924, Calcutta) was a Scottish zoologist
Zoology |zoölogy]]), is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct...

, entomologist and anthropologist
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...


The eldest son of Thomas Annandale, the regius professor
Regius Professor
Regius Professorships are "royal" professorships at the ancient universities of the United Kingdom and Ireland - namely Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dublin. Each of the chairs was created by a monarch, and each appointment, save those at Dublin, is approved by the...

 of clinical surgery at the University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

, Nelson was educated at Rugby School
Rugby School
Rugby School is a co-educational day and boarding school located in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire, England. It is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain.-History:...

, Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, and the University of Edinburgh.

Annandale went to India in 1904 as Deputy Superintendent of the Natural History Section of the Indian Museum. He was a deputy director at the Indian Museum
Indian Museum
The Indian Museum is the largest museum in India and has rare collections of antiques, armour and ornaments, fossils, skeletons, mummies, and Mughal paintings...

 and in 1907 he became its director, succeeding John Anderson
John Anderson (zoologist)
John Anderson was a Scottish anatomist and zoologist who worked in India.He was born in Edinburgh and graduated in medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1861. His thesis however was in zoology...

 (1833–1900). He had travelled widely before his career in India and with H. C. Robinson he had undertaken the Skeat Expedition to the northern part of the Malay Peninsula in 1899.

He started the Records and Memoirs of the Indian Museum journals and in 1916, he became the first director of the Zoological Survey of India
Zoological Survey of India
The Zoological Survey of India is a premier Indian organisation in zoological research and studies. It was established on 1 July 1916 to promote the survey, exploration and research of the fauna in the region...

 that he helped found. He was associated with many scientists of his time. This change placed an official equality with botany and geology and made more funds available for expeditions to various parts of India. He was interested in aspects beyond systematics including ecology. His suggestion of a problem in anthropology to P. C. Mahalanobis
Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis
Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis FRS was an Indian scientist and applied statistician. He is best remembered for the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure. He made pioneering studies in anthropometry in India...

 led to the latters discovery of a technique that developed into the multivariate statistical techniques of today. He held the position of director until 1924 and was succeeded by Robert Beresford Seymour Sewell (1880–1964). He was president of the 1924 session of the Indian Science Congress.

The Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, with which he was closely associated during his service in India as Anthropological Secretary, Vice-President and as its President in 1923 instituted a triennial an Annandale Memorial Medal for contributions to anthropology in Asia. The first award was made to Dr Fritz Sarasin
Fritz Sarasin
Fritz Sarasin, full name Karl Friedrich Sarasin was a Swiss naturalist.He was a second cousin of Paul Sarasin. They made a scientific expedition to Celebes .- Bibliography :...

 in 1928.

His insect and spider collection is in the Indian Museum
Indian Museum
The Indian Museum is the largest museum in India and has rare collections of antiques, armour and ornaments, fossils, skeletons, mummies, and Mughal paintings...

 , Calcutta.

He was also noted for his work on the biology and anthropology of the Faroe Islands and Iceland.

External links

  • books by Nelson Annandale at Internet Archive
    Internet Archive
    The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

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