I am embarrassed to say I did not even know that the American Museum of Natural History had a research library, and within it an impressive rare book collection. Library Director Tom Baione has put together a sumptuously designed and illustrated selection highlighting some of the historically important books in the collection, matched with short essays by museum staffers, many key scientists in their respective fields who still consult these works. The publisher, Sterling, has smartly boxed the book with 40 ready-to-frame 8.5 x 11 reproductions of these magnificent woodblock, intaglio, and lithographic classics of science. (More than a few are tattoo-ready, too!) Here’s one from Moses Harris’s An Exposition of English Insects (1782)On the other hand, the publisher seems a bit cagey about spreading these images on the ‘net, so I’ve tried my hand at reproducing a couple more, because they are so damn beautiful:Top: J.F.W. Herbst, Versuch einer Naturgeschicte des Krabben and Krebse… (1799) Bottom: Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium (1551-58). See what I mean by tattoo inspiration?
amphibians Arizona bees beetles birding birds Black Rock Forest books Britain Bronx Brooklyn Brooklyn Botanic Garden Brooklyn Bridge Park Bush Terminal butterflies caterpillars Central Park cicadas Climate crabs Croton Point damselflies Dartmoor Dead Horse Bay dragonflies elm fish flowers Floyd Bennett Field Fort Tilden Four Sparrow Marsh frogs fungus galls Gastropoda Geology Gowanus Great Swamp Green-Wood honey bees horseshoe crab Hudson Iceland insects invertebrates Inwood Jamaica Bay ladybugs Maine mammals Marine Park mollusca Montreal moths mushrooms Nantucket New York Botanical Garden Odonata owls plants Plumb Beach Prospect Park reptiles shells snails spiders St. John Staten Island Sunset Park Texas Thoreau trees turtles Virgin Gorda wasps
This work by Matthew Wills is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.