Belon, Aldrovandi, & Jonstonus
Nieremberg & Willoughby
Catesby's Natural History of SC
Edwards & Pennant
Illustration processes
Wilson's American Ornitology
Audubon's Birds of America
Audubon & Bachman
Selby, Swainson, & Gould
De Kay & Cassin
Selected References

Audubon and Others


Ornithology and Colonialism, I: Collecting from South America
Edwards, George, 1694-1773.
"The Swallow-Tailed Kingfisher," p. 10,
A natural history of birds: most of which have not been figur'd or describ'd, and others very little known from obscure or too brief descriptions without figures, or from figures very ill design'd.
4 vols. London: Printed for the author, at the College of Physicians in Warwick-Lane, 1743-1751.
Contemporary half tree calf, marbled boards. Gift of Mrs. J. Henry Fair.
--the English author and illustrator, George Edwards, used this smaller quarto format to provide illustrations for a wide range of European, Asian and South American birds, to parallel Catesby's folio Carolina series. After Catesby's death, Edwards would revise and edit Catesby's work. As this plate shows, Edwards, a businessman before he was a naturalist, reveled in aristocratic patronage and the exotic birds that colonial contact brought to British aviaries; this specimen had been brought back from Surinam (Dutch Guyana) for the Duke of Richmond.

Ornithology and Colonialism, II: Collecting from the Caribbean
Edwards, George, 1694-1773.
Plate 243, "The Lesser Bonana Bird,"
Gleanings of natural history, exhibiting figures of quadrupeds, birds, insects, plants, etc., most of which have not, till now, been either figured or described. With descriptions of seventy different subjects, designed, engraved, and coloured after nature, on fifty copper-plate prints.
3 vols. London: printed for the author, at the Royal College of Physicians, 1758-64. Contemporary half tree calf, marbled boards. Gift of Mrs. J. Henry Fair.
--Like Catesby, Edwards did his own engraving, noting "my good friend Mr. Catesby put me on etching my plates myself." In this instance, he claims to have drawn on the plate directly from his specimen, without making a separate sketch first. Edwards had obtained the loan of this colorful specimen from Dr. Patrick Browne, author of a Civil and Natural History of Jamaica (1756).

The Grand Overview of Nature
Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de, 1707-1788.
"Le Grand Aigle," Tom. 1, Pl. 1,
Histoire naturelle des oiseaux, tome premier (Histoire naturelle, gnrale et particulire, avec la description du Cabinet de roi, tome XVI). Paris: De l'Imprimerie royale, 1770. 
Contemporary calf.
--the French naturalist Buffon, appointed in 1739 as keeper of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, produced in his multivolume Histoire Naturelle one of the most influential works of the 18th century. For the volumes on birds (first published in this quarto form over the period 1770-1783), Buffon drew on the work of several collaborators, with solid discussions of individual species, but avoided the new Linnean classification. A larger, folio edition with colored plates was subsequently issued.

Thomas Pennant and British Birds
Pennant, Thomas, 1726-1798.
"The Lanner," pl. XXIII, in his British Zoology. 4 vols. Warrington: W. Eyres, for B. White, London, 1776-77. Contemporary calf.
--Pennant, a Welshman, is now best-known for his accounts of traveling through the British isles. As a boy, he had been given a copy of Willughby's Ornithology, and he was also an ambitious and dedicated naturalist, contributing to theTransactions of the (British) Royal Society, corresponding with Linnaeus, Buffon, and Gilbert White of Selborne, and being elected to the Royal Society of Uppsala. This example from his British Zoology shows the gradual accumulation of information and the slow process of assimilating local knowledge to scientific nomenclature.

Thomas Pennant, Classification, and Nomenclature
Pennant, Thomas, 1726-1798.
"Honeysuckers,"pl. VIII,
Genera of birds.
2nd ed. London: Printed for B. White, 1781. Modern quarter calf.
--Pennant's later books included a major work on Arctic Zoology, including Arctic birds (1785-87), as well as this slim guide to the classification and identification of bird types. There were few still standards, even for the names of the birds being illustrated. Here Pennant renamed his hummingbird specimens as honeysuckers. Nonetheless, as the text for this example shows, Pennant provided scrupulous references to other ornithologists.

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