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Digital Library - Biodiversity Heritage Library Collection

100x60BHL.jpg Biodiversity Heritage Library ()
Ten major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries, and research institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, are collaborating on the Biodiversity Heritage Library Project. The goal of the project is to establish a major corpus of digitized publications on the Web drawn from the historical biodiversity literature in their respective collections. This material will then be available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global Biodiversity Commons. BHL strives to work with the global taxonomic community, rights holders, and other interested parties to ensure that this legacy literature is available to all.
Search for digitized SI Libraries books Here!
100x60NurseryIndustry.jpg American Seed and Nursery Industry (2001) by Marca Woodhams
Bibliography of the nursery industry. One hundred individual biographies covering the careers of commercial nurserymen who established and expanded the American seed and plant sales industry starting in the 1800s. Listings' lengths vary from four to forty lines with an emphasis on horticultural sales or product innovations. Each biography includes abbreviated citations with links to sources.
100x60BHL.jpg American Silurian Crinoids (1926) by Frank Springer
Subjects: Crinoidea, Fossil; Paleontology -- Silurian
100x60BHL.jpg Analyse des fleisches einiger Fische (1877) by Aug. Almen
100x60Chiranth.jpg Description Botanique du Chiranthodendron (1805) by José Dionisio Larreátegui
After its publication in Mexico, Larreátegui's monograph found its way to France. It happened that a French naval and colonial administrator, returning to France by way of the United States after a term of service in Guadeloupe, met another Frenchman who had been travelling in Mexico; the latter, a certain "Monsieur Orsel of Lyons," gave to the administrator, Daniel Lescallier, a copy of Larreátegui's Spanish publication along with dried specimens of the leaves, flowers, and seed pods of the tree, all of which Orsel had acquired in his Mexican travels. Lescallier recognized the interest and reputed usefulness of the plant, and, while apologizing for his lack of standing in botanical circles and the "indirect route (and, as the English say, at second hand)" by which he had become involved with the work, he decided "to put [his translation] before the public, such as it is" (translated from the "Avant-propos du traducteur," p.7-8).
100x60BHL.jpg A Report on Smithsonian Libraries Activities in the BHL : Q1, FY2011 (2011) by Costantino, Grace
(pdf download 7.4MB) A report on Smithsonian Libraries participation in the Bopdiversity Heritage Library for October-December, 2010
100x60BCA.jpg Biologia Centrali-Americana (1879-1915) by Frederick D. Godman and Osbert Salvin (eds.)
The Biologia Centrali-Americana (BCA) is a fundamental work for the study of neotropical flora and fauna. It includes nearly everything known about the biological diversity of Mexico and Central America at the time of publication (1879-1915). The original work consists of 58 biological volumes containing 1284 plates illustrating 18,587 subjects. A total of 49,392 species are described, 19,263 for the first time. Many of the illustrations and descriptions are the only ones that exist of the biota of the region.
100x60Martinet.jpg Ornithologie (1773-1792) by François Nicolas Martinet
To understand the significance of François Martinet's work, it is important first to recognize the difficulties involved in producing illustrations of birds in the 18th century. This provides a foundation for viewing the development of Martinet’s bird illustrations and their contribution to works that became classics in the history of ornithology and makes possible a fuller appreciation of the beautiful hand-colored plates in Ornithologie, the folio reproduced in this digital edition. Digital edition made possible with funding from the Marcia Brady Tucker Foundation.
100x60Rothschild.jpg The Avifauna of Laysan and the neighbouring islands with a complete history to date of the birds of the Hawaiian possession (1893-1900) by Walter Rothschild
In 1890, when Rothschild was 23, he sent a sailor named Henry Palmer to the Sandwich Islands (as the Hawaiian Islands had been named by Captain James Cook in the late 1770s) and most particularly to Laysan, one of the Leeward Islands in the Hawaiian archipelago now part of the Hawaiian Islands Bird Reservation. His instructions were to collect as many different birds as possible, with special attention to inter-island variation. Palmer spent over two years at the task, from December 1890 to August 1893, and sent almost 2000 specimens back to Tring, including representatives of 15 species previously unknown to Western science and several species which have since become extinct.
100x60BHL.jpg Birds of North and Middle America: A Descriptive Catalogue (1914) by Robert Ridgway
100x60BHL.jpg Notes on some of the birds of Oyster Bay, Long Island. March, 1879 (1879) by Theodore Roosevelt
Brief notes on bird species as observed by Theodore Roosvelt in the Oyster Bay area of Long Island, New York. Digital edition made possible with funding from the Marcia Brady Tucker Foundation.
100x60ZooAquarium.jpg Recommended List of Books and Other Information Resources for Zoo and Aquarium Libraries (1996) by Kay Kenyon
This bibliography is intended to serve as a guide for both small and large zoo/aquarium libraries. The books, serials, CD-ROMs, and databases that should be available in every zoo/aquarium library, have been marked with a star. Although more and more CD-ROM reference sources (not indexes) are available, they have not yet become critical to zoo/aquarium library collections. However, a few are mentioned throughout the document.
100x60Spix.jpg Simiarum et Vespertilionum Brasiliensium Species Novae (1823) by Johann Baptist von Spix
Johann Baptist von Spix (1781-1826), found his life's work in the field of natural history, specifically zoology. In 1815 Spix, botanist Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius (1794-1868), and several other naturalists were selected to take part in an official Austrian expedition to Brazil. Simiarum et Vespertilionum Brasiliensium Species Novae provides an account of their findings.
100x60BHL.jpg Bulletin des séances de la Société entomologique de France (1873-1894) by Société entomologique de France
Meeting notes and other reports from the Société entomologique de France
100x60BHL.jpg Catalogus dipterorum hucusque descriptorum (1902-1910) by Kálmán Kertész
Catalog of diptera
100x60Colonial.jpg The Postal Service in Colonial America: A Bibliography of Material in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries National Postal Museum Branch (2000) by Timothy Carr and Debra Shumate
Publications and other resources for further research compiled by Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ staff.
100x60BHL.jpg A Description of the fossil fish remains of the Cretaceous, Eocene and Miocene formations of New Jersey (1911) by Henry Weed Fowler
100x60BHL.jpg Discussion on Results Recorded in the "Biologia Centrali-Americana" (1916) by Zoological Society of London
Meeting notes of the Zoological Society of London on the creation of the Biologia Centrali-Americana
100x60BHL.jpg Untersuchungen zur Ichthyologie angestellt in der Physiologischen und Vergleichend-Anatomischen anstalt der Universitat Freiburg nebst einer Geschichte und Beschreibung dieser Institute (1857) by Alexander Ecker
100x60BHL.jpg The evolution and distribution of fishes (1923) by John Muirhead Macfarlane
100x60BHL.jpg Plates prepared between the years 1849 and 1859, to accompany a report on the forest trees of North America (1891) by Asa Gray
Plates with brief text prepared for an unpublished work on forest trees of North America
100x60BHL.jpg Guide to the gallery of fishes in the Department of Zoology of the British Museum (Natural History) (1908) by British Museum (Natural History). Dept. of Zoology
100x60IA.jpg Index Animalium (1902-33) by Charles Davies Sherborn
Sherborn’s Index Animalium is a compendium of zoological taxonomic species nomenclature from 1758 to 1850. For each species described in this period it clearly lists the genus name, author, publication, pages, and date. A crucial tool for taxonomists, Index Animalium contains references to over 400,000 names compiled from early taxonomic literature.
100x60Sturm.jpg Verzeichniss meiner Insecten-Sammlung (1796) by Jakob Sturm
In 1796 Sturm published the catalog of his own insect collection, reproduced here. As a result of his work and expanding network of contacts with entomologists and other scientists, his collection grew so rapidly that he issued an enlarged second edition only four years later, in 1800, and eventually a third in 1826 and a fourth in 1843. His became one of the largest and most valuable private collections in Europe, consulted and cited by entomologists throughout the scientific world.
100x60BHL.jpg Insects: Their Ways and Means of Living (1930) by Robert Evans Snodgrass
Popular account of insects
100x60BHL.jpg Katalog der Paläarktischen dipteren (1903-1907) by Theodor Becker and M. Bezzi, J. Bischof, Dr. K. Kertész, et al.
Catalog of diptera
100x60HHedwig.jpg Observationum Botanicarum (1802) by Romanus Adolph Hedwig
The Observationum botanicarum was delivered as an academic oration and first published in February 1802 by the Leipzig printer Hirschfeld (ex officina Hirschfeldia) in 15 pages with no plates. As the title indicates, the 20 pages seem to have been intended as the first part of a larger work, starting with the mosses and lower plants, but no evidence has been found to indicate that the work was ever continued.
100x60Eggs.jpg The Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio (2004) by Joy Kiser
Illustrations of the nests and eggs of birds of Ohio was published in the small town of Circleville, Ohio, over a period of eight years (from 1879 to 1886) through the dedicated efforts of the family and friends of a young woman named Genevieve Jones. Despite being produced not just by amateurs but largely by women, far from the publishing houses and intellectual centers of 19th-century America, the book was hailed as an extraordinary achievement from the moment its first few plates were published. Elliott Coues, one of the foremost American ornithologists of the period, praised the book as its parts came off the press and were distributed.
100x60BHL.jpg Osnovy ikhtiologii (1948) by Evgeniĭ Konstantinovich Suvorov
100x60PW.jpg Picturing Words: The Power of Book Illustration (2005)
Through historic illustrations, viewers of the exhibit are able to see what inspires and drives graphic art. Andreas Vesalius, an early physician and progressive scientist, wrote the book “De Humani Corporis Fabrica” (1543) with illustrations of the human body showing muscles pulled back to see what was underneath. The illustrations of Vesalius changed the way people looked at the human form and helped develop modern medicine. Letters have been shown to be inspiration for some writers, as seen through the graphic images from children’s alphabet books; and pictures drawn with a calligraphic style add a degree of artistry to poems about birds in Armand Monjo’s “Tu l’as vu l’oiseau?” (1993)
100x60Spalowsky.jpg Prodromus in systema historicum testaceorum (1795 [1801 issue]) by Joachim Johann Nepomuk Spalowsky
Joachim Johann Nepomuk Anton Spalowsky (1752-17 May 1797) was a veritable polymath in the Austrian Empire of the late eighteenth century. His Prodromus is among the rarest of published books on shells.
100x60Seeds.jpg Seed and Nursery Catalogs (2005)
The Smithsonian Institution Libraries have a unique trade catalog collection that includes about 10,000 seed and nursery catalogs dating from 1830 to the present. Many of the trade catalogs were part of the Burpee Collection donated to the Horticulture Services Division by Mrs. David Burpee in 1982. The collection includes both Burpee and their competitors' catalogs. The real gems of the collection date from 1830 to the 1930s and are both beautiful and important multidisciplinary historical documents. The seed trade catalogs document the history of the seed and agricultural implement business in the United States, as well as provide a history of botany and plant research such as the introduction of plant varieties into the US Additionally, the seed trade catalogs are a window into the history of graphic arts in advertising, and a social history, through the text and illustrations, showing changing fashions in flowers and vegetables.
100x60SIContributionstoBotany.jpg Smithsonian Contributions to Botany (1969 - 2001)
This series reports on the scientific, research conducted by Smithsonian staff and their professional colleagues, as well as on the collections of the various Smithsonian museums in the field of Botany.
100x60SIContributionstoPaleobiology.jpg Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology (1969 - present)
This series reports on the scientific, research conducted by Smithsonian staff and their professional colleagues, as well as on the collections of the various Smithsonian museums in the field of Paleobiology.
100x60SIContributionstoEarthSciences.jpg Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences (1969 - 2002)
This series reports on the scientific, research conducted by Smithsonian staff and their professional colleagues, as well as on the collections of the various Smithsonian museums in the field of Earth Sciences.
100x60SIContributionstoMarineSciences.jpg Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences (1977 - present)
This series reports on the scientific, research conducted by Smithsonian staff and their professional colleagues, as well as on the collections of the various Smithsonian museums in the field of Marine Sciences.
100x60SIContributionsZoology.gif Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology (1969 -)
This series reports on the scientific, research conducted by Smithsonian staff and their professional colleagues, as well as on the collections of the various Smithsonian museums in the field of Zoology.
100x60SIFolklifeStudies.jpg Smithsonian Folklife Studies (1980-1990)
This series reports on the scientific, research conducted by Smithsonian staff in the area of Folklife studies.
100x60BHL.jpg Summer Birds of the Adirondacks in Franklin County, N.Y. (1877) by Theodore Roosevelt and H. D. Minot
Brief notes on bird species as observed in the Adironacks area of New York. Digital edition made possible with funding from the Marcia Brady Tucker Foundation.
100x60BHL.jpg A Biological Survey of the Waters of Woods Hole and Vicinity (1913) by George M. Bowers
Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries issue describing the marine flora and fauna of the Woods Hole, Mass. and surrounding areas
100x60USExEx.jpg United States Exploring Expedition (2004)
In one very important way, the work of the United States Exploring Expedition was only beginning when the ships returned to Washington after almost four years at sea. In addition to Captain Wilkes himself who recorded ocean and weather data and surveyed island groups and coastlines, the Expedition had carried a civilian group of scientists who had collected specimens, artifacts, and observations through the whole voyage. Called the "scientific corps," or just the "scientifics," they were Horatio Hale, ethnographer & linguist; Charles Pickering and Titian R. Peale, naturalists; J.P. Couthouy, conchologist; James D. Dana, mineralogist; William Rich and William D. Brackenridge, botanists; and Alfred T. Agate and Joseph Drayton, artists.
100x60BHL.jpg Die Verbreitung der Fische (1895) by J. Palacký
100x60Wonderbound.jpg Wonder Bound (2002) by Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Why are centuries-old natural history books vital to scientific research? Our scientists consult early printed materials to compare historical descriptions with modern specimens. These researchers use the rare book collection of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries' new Joseph F. Cullman, 3rd, Library of Natural History.

Wonder-rooms and curiosity cabinets appeared in the 1500s, as wealthy Europeans displayed objects and specimens collected during trading voyages and exploring expeditions. Books-such as these-allowed scientists and collectors to share their observations.
100x60BHL.jpg Zoe (1890-1908) by Zoe Pub. Co.
100x60Zoos.jpg Zoos: A Historical Perspective (2002) by Alvin Hutchinson
A collection of pamphlets and guide books published by zoos over the past century has been collected by the National Zoological Park branch of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. This online sample of these items, which includes maps, drawings and photographs of zoos from over 30 states and 40 countries is intended to highlight the value of this resource for both zoo and cultural historians. Few libraries or archives today contain materials showing the evolution of zoos in the modern era to the extent that this collection does.
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