Spotlight: Elements of the philosophy of plants (Edinburgh, 1821)

May 7, 2014

Elements of the philosophy of plants by Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle and Kurt Sprengel is the first edition in English of a composite work by two of the most eminent botanists of the early 19th century. The first three parts on nomenclature, theory of classification, and descriptive botany are from a work by de Candolle, while the final part on the structure and nature of plants is by Sprengel. This book was recently adopted more »

2009 Collections Highlights

The Libraries' Cullman Library has acquired some new and interesting items this year. Here we highlight one of them: Leopold Trattinnick's Die essbaren Schwamme des Oesterreichischen Kaiserstaates.  [Edible fungi of the Austro-Hungarian Empire]  Vienna, Trieste, 1809. This was acquired by the Libraries in April of this year.  Trattinnick (1764-1849) was a wealthy Austrian botanist and curator at the k.k. Hof-Naturaliencabinette from 1809 to 1835.  He contributed to the study of plant taxonomy and systematics; one of his earliest publications was on classification—Genera planatarum method naturali disposita (Vienna, 1802)—and, among other things, he named the genus Hosta after his contemporary Nicolaus Thomas Host (1761-1834).  Several of his publications are sumptuously illustrated works on the botany of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, including the present work focusing on his specialty in mycology (fungi). Beautifully illustrated, Die essbaren Schwamme des Osterreichischen Kaiserstaates contains 30 hand-colored plates, unsigned; a second edition, apparently with the same plates but a revised text, was published in 1830.  This edition is held by only eight libraries in the United States more »

2009 Collections Highlights

The Libraries' Cullman Library has acquired some new and interesting items this year. Here we highlight one of them: The Libraries has received Charles Darwin’s Geological observations on the volcanic islands visited during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle…being the second part of the geology of the voyage…(London, 1844). Darwin’s publications resulting from his work as a naturalist on the surveying voyage of H.M.S. Beagle included three books on geology.  They were published separately over a period of five years but were intended, and were described on their title pages, as parts of a single work. The libraries was already holding the first (The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Being the first part…, London, 1842) and the third (Geological observation on South America. Being the third part…, London, 1846). These works both individually and collectively are seminal to many issues in modern geological studies. The Libraries' 2009 exhibition honoring the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of On the origin of species features all three of the more »

2009 Collections Highlights

The Libraries' Cullman Library has acquired some new and interesting items this year. Here we highlight one of them: The Libraries has received Johannes Goedaert’s, Of insects. (York: John White, 1682).  Goedaert (b. 1617 or 1620, d. 1668) was a Dutch landscape and flower painter, whose investigations into the metamorphosis of insects, based on personal observation, resulted in the first book to describe and illustrate the life cycles of a variety of European insects, Metamorphosis naturalis or Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum (first published in Middleburg, 1662). This classic text in entomology served as a foundation and model for subsequent entomologists. The Libraries holds two early editions of Goedaert’s seminal work, one in Dutch (dated 1662) and one in Latin (dated 1662 or 1669) as well as a later edition of the work re-titled De insectus (London, 1685). Of insects was translated into English by Martin Lister, the famous naturalist who edited, translated, and annotated Goedaert’s text; according to the preface, only 150 copies were printed. This rare English edition more »

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