American Museum of Natural History AMNH Research Library

Natural Histories

This online exhibit is based on the book Natural Histories: Extraordinary Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History, edited by Tom Baione, Harold Boeschenstein Director of the Museum’s library. Coinciding with the Museum's exhibition Natural Histories: 400 Years of Scientific Illustration from the Museum’s Library, currently on display through October 12, 2014, this online exhibit is a curated sampling of the images found in Natural Histories, with highlights from the forty essays it contains on a variety of scientific topics.

For the first time, Natural Histories allows readers a privileged glimpse of seldom-seen, fully illustrated scientific tomes from the American Museum of Natural History's Rare Book Collection. The Museum's top experts in a variety of natural science disciplines, from anthropology to zoology, enhance and discuss each rare work's unique qualities and scientific contribution.

 

This online exhibit, a selection of images from the Collection, curated by the Library’s Visual Resources Librarian, allows the viewer to browse images by choosing topics from the menu to the right, some of those showcased in Natural Histories: anthropology, astronomy, entomology, geology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrates, mammalogy, ornithology, and portraits. Other images in the larger Collection of Natural Histories and the Library’s Rare Book Collection include maps, illustrations, book covers, frontispieces, and microscopy, which can be found by searching these topics from the Rare Book Collection in the AMNH Library Digital Special Collections. To enlarge any image and to see the accompanying information, simply click on an image or its title. Information can be accessed about the rare book from the Library’s catalog records, and the exhibit can be explored by selecting authors, artists, titles, and subjects.

 

Natural Histories, published by Sterling Signature, is available at the American Museum of Natural History bookshop and wherever books are sold.

 

Watch Tom Baione, Harold Boeschenstein Director of the Museum’s library discuss Natural Histories and give a peek inside the Library's rich archive.

Credits

This exhibit was curated by the AMNH Research Library's Visual Resources Librarian, Stacy J. Schiff.