Warriors, dilettantes and businessmen - Bird collectors during the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries in Southern Africa (Paperback)


This book focuses on the activities of all the people who collected bird specimens in southern Africa, and their contribution to the science of southern African ornithology. In addition to the collectors, it covers some of the history and the development of ornithology as a science in southern Africa. Dr Richard Dean draws particular attention to the fact that the southern African region is blessed with an exceptionally rich bird fauna involving over 900 taxa. It is often difficult to identify closely related species in the field and this is why it has been so important to build up extensive collections of preserved bird skins and of eggs in natural history museums in various parts of the country and elsewhere in the world. The book explains how the collectors of these specimens were active in selling or donating them to museums or they were collected by dedicated people with a passionate interest in the birds themselves. Particular attention was given to the period between 1850 and 1950 when museum collections were growing intensively, and were being used. These bird collections have been used by several authors to provide material for books on birds during this period – E.L. Layard, A.C. Stark and W.L. Sclater, V. FitzSimons and E.L. Gill, to name a few. A major user of bird collections in southern Africa was Austin Roberts, who compiled the first edition of the Birds of South Africa (First Edition 1940), extracting much of the original information for the descriptions from bird material that he had personally collected for the Transvaal Museum collection (now Ditsong National Museum of Natural History). Another major user of the bird collections was Dr P.A. Clancey, who used the collection at the Durban Natural Science Museum to describe and name a large number of subspecies of birds, as well as publishing books on birds. The writing of this book on the collectors of South African birds was made possible by the author’s life-long preoccupation with the natural history of birds.

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Product Description

This book focuses on the activities of all the people who collected bird specimens in southern Africa, and their contribution to the science of southern African ornithology. In addition to the collectors, it covers some of the history and the development of ornithology as a science in southern Africa. Dr Richard Dean draws particular attention to the fact that the southern African region is blessed with an exceptionally rich bird fauna involving over 900 taxa. It is often difficult to identify closely related species in the field and this is why it has been so important to build up extensive collections of preserved bird skins and of eggs in natural history museums in various parts of the country and elsewhere in the world. The book explains how the collectors of these specimens were active in selling or donating them to museums or they were collected by dedicated people with a passionate interest in the birds themselves. Particular attention was given to the period between 1850 and 1950 when museum collections were growing intensively, and were being used. These bird collections have been used by several authors to provide material for books on birds during this period – E.L. Layard, A.C. Stark and W.L. Sclater, V. FitzSimons and E.L. Gill, to name a few. A major user of bird collections in southern Africa was Austin Roberts, who compiled the first edition of the Birds of South Africa (First Edition 1940), extracting much of the original information for the descriptions from bird material that he had personally collected for the Transvaal Museum collection (now Ditsong National Museum of Natural History). Another major user of the bird collections was Dr P.A. Clancey, who used the collection at the Durban Natural Science Museum to describe and name a large number of subspecies of birds, as well as publishing books on birds. The writing of this book on the collectors of South African birds was made possible by the author’s life-long preoccupation with the natural history of birds.

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Product Details

General

Imprint

John Voelcker Bird Book Fund

Country of origin

South Africa

Release date

September 2016

Availability

Expected to ship within 12 - 17 working days

Authors

Dimensions

248 x 177 x 21mm (L x W x T)

Format

Paperback

Pages

196

ISBN-13

978-1-920602-04-8

Barcode

9781920602048

Categories

LSN

1-920602-04-6



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