Gavin Bridson, The History of Natural History: An Annotated Bibliography (1994)

Here’s a book I stumbled upon today that I wish I knew about a long time ago: Gavin Bridson’s The History of Natural History: An Annotated Bibliography. It’s not just a bibliography of natural history resources, it’s a bibliography of history of natural history resources, which means this should go on the top of any grad student’s prelims or comps reading list for the history of the life sciences. When I was in grad school at UW-Madison (back before the History of Science department merged with the History Department in 2017—BTW a good thing for everyone involved, by all accounts) this book wasn’t in the main History of Science & Medicine stacks in Memorial Library. It was squirreled away in the Reference stacks, where I never went. My loss! (There’s another copy in Steenbock Library, which is an entire life sciences library, and back in the day not the only one—so I’m not surprised I never stumbled across it there either.)

Bridson compiled and published a second, revised edition in 2008, which I have not seen; he passed away shortly afterward. As it is, this is an extremely good guide to the older literature, which tends to cover areas of the history of the life sciences that have been a bit neglected since the 2000s. Mark Barrow reviewed the second edition for the Journal of the History of Biology (paywalled, but here’s my copy), and he notes that this is very much an artifact of the pre-internet era.

Nevertheless, the older literature, especially the older, non-English literature, remains out of easy reach from Google Scholar. Additionally, as a topical bibliography I find it much more valuable than the general bibliographies available for history of science, whose topic labelling/indexing has been getting better, but still feels too brief for me.

I don’t have time to scan the whole volume, but here is the “Detailed Table of Contents” that is also impossible to find online. I’ve copied and pasted it below, and you can also download my not very good scan. If you see any topics of interest, I highly recommend seeking out Bridson’s Annotated Bibliography.

📥 Download #1: Bridson-Natural-History-Bibliography-1994-ToC (1.6 MB)

📥 Download #2: Barrow-JHB-review-Bridson-Nat-Hist-Bibliography-2008 (125 KB)


DETAILED CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

THE GUIDE

PART A — Personnel, Organizations, Current Awareness

  • PREVIOUS GUIDES: Biology and general science A1-33; Related subjects A34-46
  • HISTORIANS OF NATURAL HISTORY A47-50
  • SOCIETIES & ORGANIZATIONS: Guides A51-56; Individual societies, etc. A57-73
  • NEWSLETTERS A74-80
  • PERIODICALS: Guides A81-88; Individual periodicals A89-155
  • PERIODICAL BIBLIOGRAPHIES A156-171
  • GUIDES TO DISSERTATIONS A172-181
  • PERIODIC MEETINGS A182-222

Part B – Background Bibliography

Section Ba. Biographies of Naturalists

  • COLLECTED BIOGRAPHIES
  • NATURALISTS:
    • General Ba1-59; European (& Mediterranean) Ba60-75; North American Ba7699; South American Ba100-101; Asian Ba102; Australasian Ba103
    • Old directories of scientists Ba104-117
    • Bibliographies of general biographical literature Ba118-124
  • BOTANISTS (& plant collectors)
    • General Ba125-156; European (& Mediterrancan) Ba157-190; North American Ba191-216; South & central American (& Caribbean) Ba217-225; Asian Ba226-232; Australasian Ba233-242; African Ba243-250.
    • Cryptogamic botanists – General Ba251; Pteridologists Ba252; Bryologists Ba253-258; Lichenologists Ba259-263; Mycologists Ba264268; Microbiologists Ba269-271
    • Old directories of botanists Ba272-293
    • Bibliographies of botanical biography Ba294
  • ZOOLOGISTS (& anatomists)
    • General Ba295-317; Ornithologists Ba318-328; Herpetologists & ichthyologists Ba329-331; Entomologists & arthropodologists Ba332-340; Conchologists Ba341-344; Taxidermists Ba345
    • Old directories of zoologists Ba346-361; Old directories of entomologists & arachnologists Ba362-374
  • ARTISTS (& illustrators) Ba375-384
  • PORTRAITURE
    • Portrait indexes & studies Ba385-395; Portrait collections Ba396-421
    • Medallic portraits – Studies & collections Ba422-429
    • Bibliographies of iconographical literature Ba430
  • INDIVIDUAL BIOGRAPHIES (& bibliographies) Ba431-1636

Section Bb. Histories of Naturalists’ Societies

  • SOCIETIES (including ASSOCIATIONS & ACADEMIES)
    • General Bb1-12; European Bb13-27; North American Bb28-36; Australasian Bb37-38
  • INDIVIDUAL SOCIETIES, etc.
    • NATURAL HISTORY
      • International Bb39-40; European Bb41-568; North American Bb569-670; Asian Bb671-689; Australasian etc. Bb690-706; African Bb707
    • BOTANICAL
      • General Bb708-775; International congresses Bb776-778; Cryptogamic botany Bb779-788
    • ZOOLOGICAL
      • General Bb789-822; Ornithological Bb823-845; Herpetological & ichthyological Bb846-851; Entomological Bb852-894; Conchological Bb895-900
  • Bibliography of histories of societies Bb901

Section Bc. Natural History Library Resources

  • LIBRARIES & LIBRARY HISTORY
    • General Bc1-10; Natural history (& science) Bc11-22; Botanical Bc23-26; Zoological Bc27-32; Map collections Bc33; History/description of individual libraries Bc34-158
    • Personal collecting Bc159-161; Individual collectors Bc162-182
    • Bibliographies of library resource literature Bc183-185
  • LIBRARY CATALOGUES
    • GENERAL — Union catalogues Bc 186-193; Individual general catalogues Bc 194-199
    • NATURAL HISTORY — General Bc200-338; Local natural history societics Bc339-357; Microscopical science Bc358-359
    • BOTANICAL — General Bc360-426; Cryptogamic botany Bc427-432
    • ZOOLOGICAL — General Bc433-449; Ornithological Bc450-462; Herpetological & ichthyological Bc463-466; Entomological Bc467-477; Conchological Bc478-479
    • Bibliographies of library history & catalogues Bc480-484
    • PERSONAL LIBRARIES
      • Natural history Bc485-519; Botanical Bc520-574; Zoological Bc575-602
      • Bibliographies of personal library & book-sale catalogues Bc603-613
  • PERIODICALS CATALOGUES
    • Union catalogues Bc614-618; Individual catalogues, general Bc619-621; Natural history Bc622-627; Botanical Bc628-640; Zoological Bc641-643
    • Bibliographies of periodicals catalogues Bc644-650
  • MANUSCRIPT RESOURCES & CATALOGUES
    • Guides to repositories Bc651-660; Surveys of resources Bc661-707; Individual collections Bc 708-860
    • Bibliographies of manuscripts catalogues Bc861-864
  • PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTIONS
    • Guides to resources Bc865-871

Part C — Core Bibliography

Section Ca. History of Natural History

  • HISTORIES OF NATURAL HISTORY
    • General Cal-37; 15th to 18th centuries Ca38-55; 19th & 20th centuries Ca5673; Chronologies Ca74 -80; Encyclopacdias & dictionarics Ca81-82
    • Natural history bibliographies Ca83-105; Bibliographies of incunabula Ca106-107; Bibliographies of encyclopaedias & dictionaries Ca108-113; Bibliographies of dissertations Ca114-125; Periodical bibliographies Cal26-135; Bibliographies of periodicals Ca136-141; Chronological lists of periodicals Ca142-143
  • REGIONAL HISTORIES OF NATURAL HISTORY
    • European Ca144-195; North American Cal96-236; South & central American (& Caribbean) Ca237-245; Asian Ca246-252; Australasian (& Pacific) Ca253-261; African Ca262-263 Regional natural history bibliographies – European (& Mediterranean) Ca264-292; North American Ca293-303; South & central American (& Caribbean) Ca304308; Asian (& Indian Ocean) Ca309-335; Australasian (& Pacific) Ca336-342; African Ca343-349; Polar Ca350-353
  • SPECIAL TOPICS
    • Biogeography Ca354-362; Ecology Ca363-384; Reproduction Ca385-393; Genetics & heredity Ca394-415; Evolution Ca416-489; Miscellancous Ca490-496
    • Topical bibliographies Ca497-500
  • MICROSCOPY & MICROBIOLOGY
    • General Ca501-535;
    • Microscopes & microtechniques Ca536-558
    • Microscopy bibliographies Ca559-566
  • AQUATIC BIOLOGY & EXPLORATION
    • Marine Ca567-601; Freshwater Ca602-606
    • Aquatic-biology & exploration bibliographies Ca607-628
  • NATURAL HISTORY EXPLORATION, VOYAGES & TRAVEL
    • General Ca629-650;
    • By region — European Ca651-652; North American Ca653-664; South & central American (& Caribbean) Ca665-676; Asian Ca677-682; Australasian (& Pacific) Ca683-695; African Ca696702; Polar Ca703-706; Individual expeditions & voyages Ca707-799
    • Exploration bibliographies Ca800-823
  • NATURAL HISTORY CABINETS & MUSEUMS
    • General Ca824-835; By region Ca836-854;
    • Individual museums — European Ca855-928; North American Ca929-964; South American Ca965-970; Australasian Ca971-974
    • Personal collections Ca975-989
    • Museums bibliographies Ca990-991
  • NATURAL HISTORY EDUCATION & RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS
    • General Ca992-1000
    • Individual institutions – European Ca1001 -1035; North American Ca1036-1084: South American Cal085-1087; Asian Ca10881090; Australasian (& Pacific) Ca1091-1092; African Ca1093
  • BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION Ca1094-1118
    • Classification schedule Ca1119
    • Natural history terms, etymology Ca1120-1128
  • NATURAL HISTORY ILLUSTRATION Cal129-1138
    • Bibliographies of illustration resources Cal139-1141

Section Cb. History of Botany

  • HISTORIES OF BOTANY
    • General Cb1-19; 15th to 18th centuries Cb20-36; 19th & 20th centuries Cb3739; Chronologies Cb40; Plant exploration Cb41-55
    • Botanical bibliographies Cb56-82; Bibliographies of herbals Cb83-86; Bibliographies of various plant groups Cb87-94; Bibliographies of dissertations Cb95-98; Periodical bibliographies Cb99-115
  • REGIONAL HISTORIES OF BOTANY
    • European (& Mediterranean) Cb116-219; North American Cb220-267; South & central American (& Caribbean) Cb268-286; Asian Cb287-314; Australasian (& Pacific) Cb315-325; African Cb326-333
    • Regional bibliographies European (& Mediterranean) Cb334-384; North American Cb385-412; South & central American (& Caribbean) Cb413-429; Asian Cb430-460; Australasian (& Pacific) Cb461-465; African (& Indian Ocean) Cb466-473
  • SPECIAL TOPICS
    • Plant geography Cb474-481; Ecology (& forest botany) Cb482-499; Morphology, anatomy & embryology Cb500-523; Physiology Cb524-533; Floral biology Cb534-546; Genetics & heredity Cb547-551; Palaeobotany Cb552-560
    • Topical bibliographies Cb561-571
  • CRYPTOGAMIC BOTANY
    • General Cb572-573
    • PTERIDOLOGY Cb574-580
      • Pteridological bibliographies Cb581 -593
    • BRYOLOGY Cb594-604
      • Bryological bibliographies C6605-612
    • LICHENOLOGY Cb613-623
      • Lichenological bibliographies Cb624-632
    • MYCOLOGY (including plant pathology) Cb633-670
      • Mycological bibliographies Cb671-684; Regional Cb685-700
    • PHYCOLOGY Cb701-717
      • Phycological bibliographies Cb718-731
  • BOTANICAL EXPLORATION, VOYAGES see NATURAL HISTORY EXPLORATION etc. Ca629-823
  • BOTANICAL GARDENS
    • General Cb732-749
    • Individual gardens – European (& Mediterranean) Cb750895; North American Cb896-923; South & central American (& Caribbean) Cb924-928; Asian Cb929-941; Australasian Cb942-950; African (& Indian Ocean) Cb951-955
    • Botanical gardens bibliographies Cb956-961
  • HERBARIA & MUSEUMS
    • General Cb962-971; Cryptogamic herbaria Cb972-979;
    • Individual herbaria & museums — European Cb980-1013; North American Cb1014-1022; Asian Cb1023-1024; Australasian Cb1025; Personal herbaria Cb1026-1042
  • BOTANICAL EDUCATION & RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS
    • Individual institutions European Cb1043-1092; North American Cb10931106; South American Cb1107; Asian Cb1108-1113
  • BOTANICAL CLASSIFICATION & NOMENCLATURE
    • General Cb1114-1137
    • Classification schedules Cb1138-1139
    • Botanical nomenclature Cb1140-1148
      • Codes of nomenclature & indexes Cb1149-1150; Spermatophyta Cb1151-1162; Pteridophyta Cb1163; Musci Cb1164; Hepatica Cb1165-1166; Lichens Cb1167-1169; Fungi Cb1170-1172; Alga Cb1173-1175. Botanical terms, etymology Cb1176-1185
  • BOTANICAL ILLUSTRATION
    • General Cb1186-1214; Plant images in art Cb1215-1217
    • Bibliographies of illustration resources Cb1218-1230
  • PLANTS & MAN
    • General Cb1231-1253; Plant mythology & folklore Cb1253-1256

Section Cc. History of Zoology

  • HISTORIES OF ZOOLOGY
    • General Cc1-14; 15th to 18th centuries Cc15-18; Chronologics Cc 19-20
    • Zoological bibliographies Cc21-35; Bibliographies of dissertations Cc36; Periodical bibliographies Cc37-54
  • REGIONAL HISTORIES OF ZOOLOGY
    • European (& Mediterranean) Cc55-80; North American Cc81-102; South & central American (& Caribbean) Cc103-104; Asian Cc105-110; Australasian Cc111-115; African Cc116-118
    • Regional bibliographies – European (& Mediterranean) Cc119-142; North American Cc143-151; South & central American (& Caribbean) Cc152; Asian Cc153-159; Australasian Cc160; African Cc161-163
  • SPECIAL TOPICS
    • Animal geography Cc164-168; Ecology Cc169-176; Morphology & anatomy Cc177-189; Embryology Cc190-207; Physiology & reproduction Cc208-253; Behaviour Cc254-271; Palacontology Cc272-285
  • VERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY
    • General Vertebrate bibliographies Cc286-291
    • MAMMALOGY Cc292-306A
      • Mammalogical bibliographies Cc307-316; Regional bibliographies Cc317-327
    • ORNITHOLOGY, general Cc328-346; Ornithology, regional Cc347-374
      • Ornithological bibliographies Cc375-383; Regional – European (& Mediterranean) Cc384-405 North American Cc406-421; South & central American (& Caribbean) Cc422-423; Asian Cc424-427; Australasian (& Pacific) Cc428-431; African Cc432; Polar Cc433
    • HERPETOLOGY Cc434-442
      • Herpetological bibliographies Cc443-445; Regional bibliographies Cc446-461
    • ICHTHYOLOGY Cc462-476
      • Ichthyological bibliographies Cc477-482; Regional bibliographies Cc483-498
  • INVERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY
    • General
    • Invertebrate bibliographies Cc499-500
    • ENTOMOLOGY, general Cc501-523; Entomology, regional Cc524-561
      • Entomological bibliographies Cc562-571; Regional bibliographies Cc572-597; Bibliographies of insect groups Cc598-625; Periodical bibliographies Cc626-632
    • CONCHOLOGY Cc633-644
      • Conchological bibliographies Cc645-659
    • ARACHNOLOGY, CRUSTACEOLOGY, ETC. Cc660-671
      • Arachnological & crustaceological bibliographies Cc673-683
    • HELMINTHOLOGY Cc684-690
      • Helminthological bibliographies Cc691-697; Periodical bibliographies Cc698
    • OTHER INVERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY Cc699-708
      • Bibliographies of other invertebrate zoology Cc709-722
    • PARASITOLOGY Cc723-733
      • Parasitological bibliographies Cc734-739
    • PROTOZOOLOGY Cc740-754
      • Protozoological bibliographies Cc755-759
  • ZOOLOGICAL EXPLORATION, VOYAGES see NATURAL HISTORY EXPLORATION etc. Ca629-823
  • ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS
    • General Cc760-764; Individual zoos Cc765-775; Personal menageries Cc775
  • ZOOLOGICAL CABINETS & MUSEUMS
    • General Cc776-792
    • Individual museums – European Cc793-841; North American Cc842-856; Asian Cc857-859; Australasian Cc860-862; African Cc863-864; Personal collections Cc865-890
    • Collections bibliographies Cc891
  • ZOOLOGICAL EDUCATION & RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS
    • General Cc892
    • Individual institutions — European Cc893-930; North American Cc931-961; Asian Cc962
  • ZOOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION & NOMENCLATURE
    • General Cc963-973
    • Classification schedules Cc974-975
    • Zoological nomenclature Cc976-978
      • Code of nomenclature & indexes Cc979-986
      • Zoological terms, etymology Cc987-996
  • ZOOLOGICAL ILLUSTRATION
    • General Cc997-1004; Ornithological Cc1005-1014; Ichthyological Cc 1015; Entomological Cc1016-1021; Anatomical Cc1022-1026; Animal images in art Cc1027-1032
    • Bibliographies of illustration resources Cc1033-1038
  • ANIMALS & MAN
    • General Cc1039-1054; Mythology, folklore & cryptozoology Cc1055-1064

Part D — Historical & Bibliographical Methods

  • HISTORIOGRAPHY & HISTORICAL METHODS D1-48
  • ARCHIVAL SOURCES
    • Significance & use D49-73; Handwriting D74-79
  • BIBLIOGRAPHY
    • Bibliographies of bibliographical literature D80-84
    • Bibliographical methods & problems D85-110
    • Analytical & descriptive bibliography D111-124
    • Historical bibliography D125-143; Publishing history D144-165; Some individual publishers D166-183; Dates-of-publication litcraturc D184-204; Natural history bookselling D205-210
    • Systematic bibliography D211-216; Periodical title abbreviations D217-222
  • HISTORY OF BIBLIOGRAPHY
    • General D223-234; Individual bibliographers & historians D235-290

Part E — Indexes

  • Subject Index
  • Geographical Index
  • Name Index

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