Vertebrate Zoology Libraries


Contact:
Courtney Ann Shaw, Ph.D.
Senior Reference Librarian, Vertebrate Zoology Librarian

COLLECTION DESCRIPTIONS

VERTEBRATE INFORMATION RESOURCES


The Vertebrate Zoology satellite libraries of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) Library consist of the Amphibian and Reptiles, Fishes, Birds, and Mammal Libraries. They are spread throughout the National Museum of Natural History Building. Each is located within the respective Division: Amphibians and Reptiles, Birds, Fishes and Mammals, which fall under the Department of Zoology, one of the several major departments of the Museum.

These divisional libraries focus on the systematics, taxonomy, anatomy and physiology, ecology, distribution, and evolution of their respective subject groups. The book and periodical collections total around 25,000 volumes. They have strong collections of 19th and 20th century literature (thanks in part to the gifts of early Smithsonian curators). Materials from publishers throughout the world are actively collected.

In content, the collection consists of taxonomic information from post-Linnaean research, 1758 onward, but takes in the recent geological period (past 10,000 years) as well.

For materials published before 1840, see the rare book collections of the Cullman Library of Natural History, presently under construction.

The staffing of these libraries has been enhanced over time. Past staff include: Jean Visnaw (Technician, 1965-1970); Patty Buzzard (Technician, ?); Leslie Overstreet (Technician, 1982-1988); Philip Heron (Technician, 1989); Gil Taylor (Librarian, 1990-1991); Alvin Hutchinson (Librarian, 1992-1998); Courtney Ann Shaw (Librarian, 1998- ); Ron Lindsey (Technician, 199 - ). Robert Skarr, the Invertebrate Zoology Librarian, has served intermittently several times as well.

Because of the diversity among the Vertebrate Zoology collections, each will be discussed separately.

AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES LIBRARY

snakes

LOCATION

National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
10th and Constitution Ave, N. W.
ROOM W207
MRC 162
Washington, D.C. 20560

Location within NMNH

Telephone: (202) 633-1696

REFERENCE HOURS
Monday
1:00-4:00 p.m.
Open to the public by appointment
Closed on Federal holidays

USERS - See:

Facts About the Natural and Physical Sciences Department

HISTORY

Spencer Baird, see above, was an herpetologist and donated some of his materials (books and reprints) to the core of the collection. At one point the collections of the Smithsonian were given to the Library of Congress on deposit, but some of those materials have since been returned to SI. Leonard Stejneger, the curator of the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles from the 1890's to the early 1940's was a bibliophile, and a personal collector, who also bought and gave many volumes and reprints to the division. This pattern of giving was followed by Doris Cochran, and James A. Peters, who had became curator in 1964. There was a rebirth for the collections in the 1960's, since there was money at that time to buy books.

In 1965 the Smithsonian Institution Libraries and specifically the Natural History Library took over the books and periodicals of the Division's collections, cataloguing them according to L.C. classification scheme, and barcoding them. Since then the Division has maintained the reprint collection and selected books (especially collections of papers). The majority of recent materials have been purchased by the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, with gifts by the curators as well.

In the mid-1970's George Zug, curator, who arrived in 1969, created an extensive exchange collection using SHIS Smithsonian Herpetological Information Service publications (see link in Reptiles Home Page) for publishing both professional and amateur herpetological publications, which continues today.

For further information on its history, see also:

Library liaisons have been George Zug, Curator, and Ron Crombie, Collection Manager.

COLLECTIONS

The AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES LIBRARY collects books and periodicals for the whole range of herpetological subjects. It holds approximately 3,500 volumes, including 35 journal subscriptions. The library's collections follow the research interests of the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles which are evolution, morphology, and systematics of reptiles and amphibians. English and major European languages are actively sought. There is worldwide coverage with particular emphasis on North American and tropical regions of the world.

Within the Division there is some representative children's literature; audiovisuals (records/tapes), slides and photographs, manuscripts, maps, and archives.

An extensive reprint collection is maintained by the Division. Contact Ron Crombie, Collection Manager.

Most of the rarer books are housed in the Cullman Library of Natural History.

ARRANGEMENT OF THE COLLECTION

Books in the Amphibians and Reptiles Library are arranged according to the Library of Congress classification system. They can be searched by using the online catalog, SIRIS. Journals are arranged alphabetically by title. Recent issues of journals and new monographs are displayed on the computer workstation and adjacent display rack in the room.

Floor Plan


Most of the rarer books (temporarily kept in cabinets) will be are housed in the Cullman Library of Natural History.

REFERENCE TOOLS

Reference collections of abstracting and indexing services, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, and catalogs of type specimens are located in Stack Number 3 on the close end of the library by L.C. call number. Web-based resources are bookmarked on the library's computer as well. Other links, such as Guides to the Web, Electronic Books, Bibliographies, Databases, Organizations and Journals and E-Journals, are available via the NMNH Library Home Page

Online references include the Encyclopedia Smithsonian where, for example, you will find a Reptiles and Amphibians, Reading Lists.

Also visit the Division of Amphibians and Reptile Home Page for additional information and links, such as the SHIS (Smithsonian Herpetological Information Service) publications, under Historical Herpetological Publications.

RELATED HERPETOLOGICAL LINKS:

Amphibian Species of the World
http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.php

Herp Pictures
http://herp-pix.org

International Society for the History and Bibliography of Herpetology
http://www.t-ad.net/ishbh/

Herpfaun
http://www.embl-heidelberg.de/~uetz/db-info/HERPFAUN.html

Herplit
http://www.herplit.com/herplit/

Plus, many state newsletters are online...

PHOTOCOPY/MICROFORM FACILITIES

Library materials may be reproduced within the restrictions of the Copyright Act provided that, in the judgment of the librarian, no damage to the book will result. Photocopy machines and microfilm reader/printers are located in the NMNH Library. A microfiche printer is available in the Amphibian and Reptiles Library. Non-Smithsonian users are charged fifteen cents per page for photocopies or microform copies. For information, consult the library staff.

FISHES LIBRARY

Americanfishes

LOCATION

National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
10th and Constitution Ave, N. W.
ROOM WG11
Washington, D.C. 20560

Location within NMNH

Telephone: (202) 633-1695

REFERENCE HOURS
Wednesday
1:00-4:00 p.m.
Open to the public by appointment
Closed on Federal holidays

USERS - See:

Facts About the Natural and Physical Sciences Department

HISTORY

The SI library in the early 1860's returned much of the material over time. Most of the ichthyological works were transferred uncataloged to the Division of Fishes, then located on the ground floor Main, because of SIL lacked space. Leonard P. Schultz, Curator in Charge from 1937-1968 kept the books in his office arranged by author. The Fishes Division was then located on the ground floor Main, and overlooked the West Court. There, too was a reprint collection.In 1965, the Fishes

Division moved to its present location to the West Wing, ground floor. The Division maintained the uncatalogued books (with a card catalog) and had them arranged alphabetically by main entry, usually author. The Division added books, which it independently acquired, and was responsible for "curating" the library. Sometime, around 1970, SIL offered to provide the Division with part-time library help if the Division would permit the books to be cataloged. They agreed with the provision that the main entry filing would be continued. When Margaret Smith came on board, early 90s, she decided that the Division library would be arranged by LC number. The books and periodicals were housed separately.

Victor Springer, who came in 1961, has been the Division liaison with the division SIL librarian since about 1965, mainly providing new book requests, passing judgment on new orders and discards involving duplicates or irrelevant literature, providing funding from Division sources for purchasing and binding books when SIL funds were not forthcoming, suggesting rearrangements in the library, and recommending books for transfer to the rare book library (Dibner or Jewett Room).His idea was to replace rare materials with photocopies and some were, then dummies were made to the transferred books, but eventually that practice was also stopped.

Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod, owner of Tropical Fish Hobbyist, Inc. (T.F.H.), which published books on fishes, was actively involved with the Division from 1963-1995. He has been a significant supporter to the Fishes Library by donating to it a copy of every fish book he published. He also reprinted several out-of-print fish books, and donated them to the Division. The book and reprint collection has been increased substantially over the years by gifts from the Division's present and former curators, such as Ernie Lochner and R. H. Gibbs, and occasional gifts from other ichthyologists, particularly those who authored books and received assistance from the Division, for example Dr. Ray Birdsong.

COLLECTIONS

The FISHES LIBRARY holds over 8,000 volumes, including 106 journal subscriptions pertaining to fishes. The major research interests in the Division of Fishes, which the SIL libraries follow, are the systematics and zoogeography of fishes.

The library is also strong in the subject areas of life history, aquariology, and economic biology of fishes.

English, major European languages, Japanese and Chinese publications are actively sought. There is worldwide coverage, especially South America (neotropics) and the marine tropics.

Most of the rarer books are housed in the Cullman Library of Natural History.

Within the Divison are a limited number of popular works bearing on fishes as well as charts of oceans, juvenile literature, manuscripts, archives, and slides and photographs.

An extensive reprint collection is maintained by the Fishes Division. Contact Lisa Palmer, Museum Specialist

Most of the rarer books are housed in the Cullman Library of Natural History.

ARRANGEMENT OF THE COLLECTION

Books and journals in the Fishes Library, which are separated from one another, are arranged according to the Library of Congress classification system. They can be searched for by using SIRIS, the online catalog. Recent issues of journals and new monographs are displayed on a magazine display rack.

Floor Plan

REFERENCE TOOLS

Reference collections of abstracting and indexing services, dictionaries, directories, and encyclopedias are located in the last stack (the one closest to the patrons'tables).Web-based resources are bookmarked on the library's computer as well. Other links, such as Guides to the Web, Electronic Books, Bibliographies, Databases, etc. and Organizations as well as Journals and E-Journals, are available via the NMNH Library Home Page

On line references include the Encyclopedia Smithsonian where, for example, you will find a List of References on Fishes

Also visit the Division of Fishes Home Page for additional information and links.

RELATED FISH LINKS:

FishNet
http://www.speciesanalyst.net/fishnet/

Regulatory Fish Encyclopedia
http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~frf/rfe0.html

NetVet-Fish
http://netvet.wustl.edu/fish.htm

FishBase
http://www.fishbase.org/

FINS: Fish Information Service
http://www.actwin.com/fish/index.php

FISHBOT
http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/cosam/musefish/musefish.htm

Annotated Checklists of Fishes
http://www.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/annotated/

 

PHOTOCOPY/MICROFORM FACILITIES

Library materials may be reproduced within the restrictions of the Copyright Act provided that, in the judgment of the librarian, no damage to the book will result. Photocopy machines and microfilm reader/printers are located in the NMNH Library. A microfiche reader is available in the Fishes Library. Non-Smithsonian users are charged fifteen cents per page for photocopies or microform copies.

BIRDS LIBRARY

Four Footed

LOCATION

National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution Libraries 10th and Constitution Ave, N. W.
ROOM E609
Washington, D.C. 20560

Location within NMNH

Telephone: (202) 633-1693

REFERENCE HOURS
Tuesday
1:00-4:00 p.m.
Open to the public by appointment
Closed on Federal holidays

USERS - See:

Facts About the Natural and Physical Sciences Department

HISTORY

THE RICHMOND MEMORIAL LIBRARY, located in the Division of Birds, established its library collection in 1881, with the volumes of Spencer Baird. The division's specimen collection became the center of systematic studies on North American birds, while the library concentrated on systematics worldwide. The collection has received two significant gifts. The Jonathan Dwight, Jr. ornithological library of 1808 was given by Mrs. Carl Tucker in 1969. A gift of 3,000 volumes from the estate of Alexander Wetmore, the sixth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, was acquired in 1979.

Probably the most significant contribution to the library came from curator Charles W. Richmond, whose interest in avian nomenclature caused him to obtain many old and rare classics in ornithology containing original descriptions of new species. The library has been in the same location ever since the Bird Division moved into the east wing. Prior to that it was in the main part of the building, and after being housed in the Castle.

See also: Churgin, Sylvia and Ruth Schallert. "History of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, with special emphasis on the natural history." J. Soc. Biblio. Nat. Hist. (1980) 9 (4):601 (Birds, the Richmond Memorial Library).

COLLECTIONS

The BIRDS LIBRARY holds over 10,000 volumes, including approximately 100 journal subscriptions. The major scientific research in the Division of Birds, and thus the SI libraries, is systematics of ornithology. It is a worldwide collection with emphasis on palearctic, neotropical regions, and the Pacific Ocean and incorporates all aspects of ornithology, including evolution and structural adaptation, distribution studies, zoogeography and checklists of birds worldwide.

All languages are included. There is some juvenile and popular literature if containing significant illustrations.

Audiovisuals (records and tapes) and atlases are collected by both the SI Libraries and the Division. Field notebooks, maps, and an extensive reprint collection are maintained by the Birds Division. Contact James Dean, Collection Manager, for those items.

ARRANGEMENT OF THE COLLECTION

Books in the Birds Library are arranged according to the Library of Congress classification system. They can be searched for by using the SIRIS, the online catalog, . Serials are separated from the books and are arranged alphabetically by title. Recent issues of journals and new monographs are displayed on a magazine display rack in the front of the room.

Floor Plan

Most of the rarer books are housed in the Cullman Library of Natural History.

REFERENCE TOOLS

Reference materials including abstract and indexing services, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, catalogs of type specimens, etc. are located in the front of the room on Reference shelves by L.C. call number. Web-based resources are bookmarked on the library's computer as well. Other links, such as Guides to the Web, Electronic Books, Bibliographies, Databases, etc. and Organizations as well as Journals and E-Journals, are available via the NMNH Library Home Page

And the Encyclopedia Smithsonian where, for example, you will find a Suggested Reading on Birds

 

RELATED BIRD LINKS:

Recent Ornithological Literature On-Line, including state newsletters
http://www.nmnh.si.edu/BIRDNET/ROL/index.html

Birds of North America
http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA/

Ornithologie (Martinet)
http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/NHRareBooks/Martinet/martinet.htm

Zoonomen: Zoological Nomenclature Resource
http://www.zoonomen.net/

Vireo: Visual Resources for Ornithology
http://www.acnatsci.org/research/vireo/index.html
 
SORA (Searchable Ornithological Research Archive)
http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora
 
Bird Checklists of the United States
http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/othrdata/chekbird/chekbird.htm
 
Also visit the Division of Birds Homepage.

PHOTOCOPY/MICROFORM FACILITIES

Library materials may be reproduced within the restrictions of the Copyright Act provided that, in the judgment of the librarian, no damage to the book will result. Photocopy machines and microfilm reader/printers are located in the NMNH Library. A microfiche reader is available in the Birds Library. Non-Smithsonian users are charged fifteen cents per page for photocopies or microform copies. For information, consult the library staff.

MAMMAL LIBRARY

Four Footed

LOCATION

National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
10th and Constitution Ave, N. W.
ROOM 398
Washington, D.C. 20560

Location within NMNH

Telephone: (202) 633-1694

REFERENCE HOURS
Thursday
1:00-4:00 p.m.
Open to the public by appointment
Closed on Federal holidays

USERS - See:

Facts About the Natural and Physical Sciences Department

HISTORY

From the 1940's to 1950's the Division of Mammals was on the ground floor of the Natural History building (in the same area where the Main Library of Natural History, SI Libraries, the Anthropological Archives, NOAA and NMNH Security are presently.) Mammals offices were a bank of square high-ceilinged rooms where double decks held the specimen cabinets and books, requiring a ladder to reach the higher shelves. They faced the West Court's scenic view of flowers, canoes, totem poles, and benches, with kestrels and mockingbirds flying around. In the later 1950's the Mammals Division moved to the West Wing (6th floor) (were Entomology just evacuated.), then to 3rd floor, Main in the mid 1960's The Mammal Library first in Rm 390-392 (now the Mammal Office), an area since reduced in size). It moved to the corner (Rm 398) around 1978. In this location the library also included the divisional conference room.The library continued the ground floor tradition of having the book shelves around the walls, with some free-standing stacks. Books were arranged by subject, then by author.

In 1965 the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, specifically the Natural History Library, catalogued the books and periodicals according to L.C. classification scheme, and barcoded them. Most rare materials were housed in a locked cabinet, until many of them were removed to the Dibner Library in 1980. A caged area was then created under the advice of Al Gardner, which housed some rare books, museum catalogs, divisional field notes, and books of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For at least 50 some years the reprints have been bound. Before that they were organized by author, all miscellaneous reprints being held in letter file boxes. The reprints remained with the Division. The map collection, originally in the library, became part of the division's collections. Two curators of Mammals, Gerrit Smith Miller Jr.,c.1900-1940, and Remington Kellogg,(later Director the Museum of Natural History), willed their personal libraries to the Mammal Library, as well as to the Birds Library and the newly established Kellogg Library of Marine Mammals (opened in 1969-70) respectively. Clayton Ray, Curator Emeritus of Palebiology, has also given books and many reprints.

COLLECTIONS

The MAMMAL LIBRARY contains about 4,500 volumes, including 40 journal subscriptions. It collecting policies follow the Division of Mammals, where the major research interests are systematics, distribution, evolution, and morphology, as well as ecology, and evolution.

The collection concentrates on the mammals of the world.

Popular works and juvenile works are included if illustrations are exceptional. English and major European languages, in addition to Russian language publications are actively sought.

Slides and photographs, maps, field notebooks, and an extensive reprint collection are maintained by the Division of Mammals. Contact Alfred Gardner, Curator, for these.

Most of the rarer books are housed in the Cullman Library of Natural History.

ARRANGEMENT OF THE COLLECTION

Books and journals (though separated) in the Mammal Library are arranged according to the Library of Congress classification system. They can be searched for by using SIRIS, the online catalog. Recent issues of journals and new monographs are displayed on a magazine display rack in the front of the room

Floor Plan

CAGED AREA

Field notebooks, photographs and slides, catalogs of type specimens, and other special materials are housed in a locked area at the rear of the library Contact the librarian to view them.

REFERENCE TOOLS

Reference materials including abstracting and indexing services, dictionaries, directories, and encyclopedias are located in the front of the room on Reference shelves by L.C. call number. Web-based resources are bookmarked on the library's computer as well. Other links, such as Guides to the Web, Electronic Books, Bibliographies, Databases, etc. and Organizations as well as Journals and E-Journals, are available via the NMNH Library Home Page

Online references include the Encyclopedia Smithsonian where, for example, you will find a Mammals Bibliography

Also visit the Division of Mammals Homepage for additional information and links.

RELATED MAMMALS LINKS:

Mammals Networked Information System
http://elib.cs.berkeley.edu/manis/

Walker's Mammals of the World
http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/walkers_mammals_of_the_world/prep.html

Mammal Species of the World
http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/

Mammfaun: A Bibliography Concerning the Geographical Distribution of Mammals
http://www.wku.edu/~smithch/mamm/MAMMFAUN.htm

Bibliography of General Works in Mammalogy
http://research.amnh.org/mammalogy/biblio/

Johann Baptist von Spix. Simiarum et Vespertilionum Brasiliensium Species Novae (1823). Digital Edition. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Libraries, 2000
http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/NHRareBooks/Spix/spix-toc.htm

PrimateLit: A Bibliographic Database for Primatology
http://www.primatelit.library.wisc.edu

Mammal Slide Library
http://www.emporia.edu/biosci/msl/home.htm

North American Mammals
http://web4.si.edu/mna/

Mammalian Species
http://www.science.smith.edu/departments/Biology/VHAYSSEN/msi/msiaccounts.html

PHOTOCOPY/MICROFORM FACILITIES

Library materials may be reproduced within the restrictions of the Copyright Act provided that, in the judgment of the librarian, no damage to the book will result. Photocopy machines and microfilm reader/printers are located in the NMNH Library. A microfiche reader is available in the Mammal Library. Non-Smithsonian users are charged fifteen cents per page for photocopies or microform copies.

OTHER IMPORTANT VERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY LINKS:

National Center for Biotechnical Information
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

ITIS
http://www.itis.usda.gov

Species Analyst
http://speciesanalyst.net/

Biology Browser
http://www.biologybrowser.org/bb/Subject/Systematics/index.shtml

NetVet-The Electronic Zoo
http://netvet.wustl.edu/vet.htm

The Animal Diversity Web
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/

See also:

Cullman Library of Natural History
http://www.sil.si.edu/libraries/cullman/

Smithsonian Institution Libraries
http://www.sil.si.edu

Natural History Library Homepage
http://www.sil.si.edu/libraries/nmnh-hp.htm


Smithsonian Institution Libraries Home Page

MRK
email: libmail@sil.si.edu