Artefact of the month - October 2012
Tercentenary of Catesby’s visit to America : The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands - by Mark Catesby, 1731-43
Three hundred years ago, Mark Catesby was the first European to describe and illustrate the natural history of America's southeastern seaboard in the landmark book, The natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands published in two volumes.
It was regarded as the most comprehensive, illustrated and attractive natural history book of its time. The importance of Catesby’s study as a guide to American species caused it to be reprinted several times. The illustrations have a true-to-life quality to them as well as being very decorative. As animals are often depicted with associated plants it could be regarded as an early ecological work!
The work is split into two volumes, one is concerned with birds and the other with all other types of animal species. Both volumes will be displayed in ZSL Library from 8 – 19 October to celebrate this tercentenary and 'Biology Week'. Please do visit ZSL Library during this period to view these wonderful volumes.
Please note that members of the public are welcome to visit and use ZSL Library but both photographic ID and proof of address will be required on your first visit. Appointments are not normally necessary but they are needed to view these volumes at other times or to view other historic books as they are part of our special collections Library Regulations for Special Collections (96 KB)
Visit the website of the Catesby Trust Visit the website at www.catesbytrust.org.
Catesby’s work was previously featured as an artefact, click here to view.
Meanwhile do enjoy these illustrations from our volumes of Catesby: