Authors/Contributors

Eileen Snyder

Document Type

Article

Date

Spring 1989

Embargo Period

3-25-2011

Keywords

Syracuse University Special Collections, history of science, natural history, Frederick Pursh, Mark Catesby, Alexander Wilson, John James Audubon

Language

English

Disciplines

History | History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Description/Abstract

It is perhaps not realized by the modem armchair naturalist what hardships attended his 'explorer naturalist' predecessor in the early 1800s. In the George Arents Research Library there is an intriguing—indeed, quite outstanding—group of volumes, landmarks in the history of the natural sciences, by American, British, and French botanists, ornithologists, ichthyologists, entomologists, and herpetologists. A study of the various prefaces, introductions, and accompanying advertisements reveals the overwhelming problems that not only attended every fact ,gathering expedition, but seemed as well to plague every stage in the publication of the new materials. Nevertheless, undaunted, these explorers were inspired to do what had not been done before, namely, a firsthand, on-site description of natural history.

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