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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 is held by only 10 libraries in the United States.—Leslie Overstreet and Liz O’Brien

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