Spring Birdwatching in Boston

Spring is a great time for observing birds anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, and Boston is no exception. During this time of year we have the chance to see not only those birds that live here year-round, but also those passing through the city on their way to their summer homes. Spring is also when…
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(Re)visiting the 1837 Library of the Boston Society of Natural History, Part IV

This post is Part IV of a series. Read Part I, Part II, and Part III. The Fate of the Library From its modest 314-item inventory in 1837, the library of the Boston Society of Natural History (BSNH) grew immensely: 1842: about 1,000 volumes 1915: over 40,000 volumes and over 30,000 pamphlets 1928: over 50,000…
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(Re)visiting the 1837 Library of the Boston Society of Natural History, Part III

This post is Part III of a series. Read Part I and Part II. Bigelow, American Medical Botany (1817) and Florula Bostoniensis (1824) For a local touch, the Boston Society of Natural History Library (BSNH) included a copy of the second edition of Harvard professor Jacob Bigelow's Florula Bostoniensis, a botanical survey of Boston and its environs.…
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(Re)visiting the 1837 Library of the Boston Society of Natural History, Part II

This post is Part II of a series. Read Part I. Pliny, Natural History, 1513 and 1539 Among the oldest works in the Boston Society of Natural History's (BSNH) collection were two sixteenth century editions of the Roman author Pliny the Elder's Natural History. This was a monumental compilation of ancient knowledge of everything from…
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(Re)visiting the 1837 Library of the Boston Society of Natural History, Part I

When I came across a ca. 1837 catalog of the library of the Boston Society of Natural History (BSNH) in the BPL's collection, I was immediately fascinated. Here, in a numbered list of 314 items, was a picture of the state and availability of scientific knowledge in the City of Boston in the first half…
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