Throughout the 19th century, the Society offered a variety of ways to learn about natural history. As a member you could borrow the latest books, published in England and France, from the library.

In theory, everyone could come to the public lectures (although not everyone listened). You could come to a demonstration with microscopes, or skulls, or an Egyptian mummy stolen from a pyramid. You could aslo visit the museum.

Many early Canadian scientists were members of the Society. They were mostly amateurs, mostly keen observers, and mostly excellent writers. Their research consisted of making detailed observations in the woods, mountains and rivers instead of toiling in laboratories.

Youth were encouraged to do their own original research and writing, and the Society offered prizes and medals for the best essays. They might even be awarded a Diploma of Fellowship. Best of all was the chance to be published in the Society’s Transactions, which were distributed worldwide.


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