William Archer (naturalist)

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William Archer
The Irish naturalist (1897) (14772895861).jpg
Born (1830-05-06)6 May 1830
Died 14 August 1897(1897-08-14) (aged 67)
Citizenship Irish
Known for Microscopy, Dublin University Zoological Association
Awards Fellow Royal society
Scientific career
Fields Naturalist

William Archer (6 May 1830 (1827?) – 14 August 1897) was an Irish naturalist and microscopist especially interested in Protozoa and Desmids.


He was born in Magherahamlet, County Down, the eldest son of Rev Richard Archer, vicar of Clonduff.

He was one of the twelve founder (1849) members of the Dublin Microscopical Club. Between 1858 and 1885 he wrote over 230 scientific papers in the Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science, Proceedings of the Natural History Society of Dublin, the vast majority are short notes on desmids collected in Ireland. Sometimes the same article was published in two or more journals.

He was a Member of the Dublin University Zoological Association and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1875.[1]

He was appointed Librarian of the National Library of Ireland from 1877 to 1895.

Archer was my chief in the National Library of Ireland during my first three years of service there - a rather dreamy man, prematurely old (for he took no care of his health), living in a small house in Hatch-street with a scapegrace young nephew and a would-be housekeeper, and spending his off-time chiefly in the reading-room of the Royal Dublin Society next door to the National Library. He forgot even his meals sometimes. Once when he had gone on leave a marked odour began to pervade the Librarian’s office, which grew so insistent as the days went by that the Head Attendant and I were forced to investigate. We eventually found in his private drawer two herrings, very much the worse for wear![2]


  1. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  2. ^ Robert Lloyd Praeger Some Irish naturalists: A Biographical Note-book W. Tempest, Dundalgan Press, Dundalk, 1949
  3. ^ IPNI.  W.Archer. 

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