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“Priority!” awarded Thackray Medal

A recent book to which Leslie Overstreet, the Smithsonian Libraries curator of natural-history rare books, contributed has been awarded the John Thackray Medal by the Society for the History of Natural History for “significant achievements in the history and bibliography of natural history.”

Leslie
Leslie with “Priority!”

The product of years of research by lead author Edward C. Dickinson, Priority! The Dating of Scientific Names in Ornithology (Northampton UK: Aves Press, 2011) is recognized as the first book to explain the importance of priority in relation to species names in ornithology and in the context of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature; it is praised as “a truly scholarly work…and…a unique and essential source” for museum scientists. Leslie contributed an introductory chapter on the history of printing in the hand-press period and how those practices affect the dating of texts that were published before around 1850. The book is available for order from Aves Press.

This is the second John Thackray Medal to be awarded to a Smithsonian Libraries-related project. The Biodiversity Heritage Library received the honor in 2010.

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