Gift to UD Library of The Naturalist's Library from Phillip Evans


    “Narwhal,” from Vol 6 The Naturalist’s Library.
     Edinburgh: W.H. Lizars et al., 1843.

 

 

The University of Delaware Library announces a gift of one of the most important natural history publications of the nineteenth century, The Naturalist’s Library published in Edinburgh by W.H. Lizars et al. in 1843. The gift was received from Phillip Evans, a member of the University of Delaware Class of 1957.

The Naturalist’s Library was edited by the great Scottish naturalist, Sir William Jardine (1800-1874) and was issued in a set of forty volumes with over 1,300 engraved plates.

The forty-volume set is divided into four main sections: Ornithology (14 volumes), Mammalia (13 volumes), Entomology (7 volumes) and Ichthyology (6 volumes); each prepared by a leading naturalist. The more than 1,300 plates were produced from engravings by William Lizars, the eminent Scottish engraver and painter of topographical views.

This set is beautifully bound in half-calf with cloth covered boards, with all of the plates intact and many of which have been hand colored. This set is an important addition to the extensive natural history holdings in Special Collections. The Naturalist’s Library was an extremely important publication in that it helped introduce natural history to a wide audience. The series was immensely popular with Victorian readers and the individual plates are prized by contemporary collectors, so it is seldom found in the pristine complete condition that this set displays.

For further information, see [www.nature.com/nature/journal/v11/n265/abs/011074a0.html] and [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_William_Jardine,_7th_Baronet].

About the Special Collections Department
Holdings of the Special Collections Department of the University of Delaware Library include books, manuscripts, maps, prints, photographs, broadsides, periodicals, pamphlets, ephemera and realia from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century. The collections complement the Library's general collections with particular strengths in the subject areas of the arts; English, Irish and American literature; history and Delawareana; horticulture; and history of science and technology. 

 

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