Biodiversity Archives

April 2, 2007

The Fresh Water Fishes
View the Flip Book and the entire Fieldiana collection

Through a special agreement with the Chicago Field Museum, we will be digitizing all the issues of the Museum's "Fieldiana" series in the areas of Zoology, Botany, Geology, and Anthropology. The Fresh-water Fishes of Mexico North of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (Zoological Series, v. 5, 1904) was one of the first volumes to be completed. UIUC's Biology and Natural History Libraries own most of the issues in these two series, and those we don't have will be loaned to us by the Field Museum's library. As a result of our contributing this content to the Internet Archive, our library has been named a contributing member of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (, a group of ten major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries, and research institutions that is developing a strategy and operational plan to digitize the published literature of biodiversity held in their respective collections. This literature will be available through a global "biodiversity commons."


July 15, 2007

Spécies général et iconographie des coquilles vivantes comprenant la collection du Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Paris : la collection Lamarck, celle du prince Masséna (appartenant maintenant a M.B. Delessert) et les découvertes récentes des voyageurs
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Snails and limpets and slugs, oh my! UIUC Library's latest contribution to the Biodiversity Heritage Library is this twelve volume illustrated set by Louis-Charles Kiener, a French zoologist who lived in Paris from 1799-1881. One of the most important and frequently referenced nineteenth century contributions to malacology--the scientific study of mollusks--Kiener's multi-volume work contains scientific descriptions and beautiful full color illustrations.


December 21, 2007

The giraffe in history and art (Volume Fieldiana, Popular Series, Anthropology, no. 27) (1928)
View the PDF. View the Flip Book.

Mohammed Ali, Pasha of Egypt in the early 1800s, was fond of sending giraffes to European monarchs. Unfortunately, the one he sent King George IV of England, survived only a few months at Windsor Palace, but the young female he sent to the king of France in 1826 thrilled Parisians for almost twenty years, inspiring songs, poems, and the realm of fashion (dresses à la girafe, hats and neckties à la girafe, and combs à la girafe.) From Egypt to Africa to China, and from the ancient Greeks through the Renaissance and into modern times, this volume from the Chicago Field Museum's Popular Anthropology series of Fieldiana is a small treasure trove of information and stories about Giraffidae, tallest of all mammals.


May 26, 2008

The landscape gardening book, wherein are set down the simple laws of beauty and utility which should guide the development of all grounds (1911) by Grace Tabor.
View the Flip Book. View the PDF.

Over 100 classic gardening texts from the University of Illinois' City Planning and Landscape Architecture Library were recently digitized, and many of them with extensive taxonomic content will be contributed to the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Among these are Grace Tabor's The Landscape Gardening Book. "Grace Tabor, one of the first women to identify herself professionally as a landscape architect, was born around 1873 in Cuba, N.Y. She studied at the Art Students League in Buffalo and in New York City, and at the New York School of Applied Design for Women . . . She is best known as a writer on landscape design and architecture. Beginning in 1905, Tabor wrote and drew plans for such magazines as The Garden Magazine and Country Life in America. She also wrote regularly for A Woman's Home Companion. In 1920 she began a garden column for the magazine that ran until 1941. Tabor reached a wide audience through The Woman's Home Companion, which was at the time among the most influential women's magazines in the country." (From Pioneers of American Landscape Design: An Annotated Bibliography edited by Charles A. Birnbaum and Lisa E. Crowder, 1993.)


February 11, 2009

Bees and Wasps and Ants, Oh My!

Nouvelle méthode de classer les hyménoptères et les diptères. Avec figures (1807)
View the Flip Book. View the PDF.

Last year, the University of Illinois Library and the Chicago Field Museum submitted a successful grant application to The Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) to digitize approximately 175 volumes on the taxonomy and biology of Hymenoptera, the third largest order of insects that includes over 108,000 species of bees, wasps and ants. Biodiversity researchers from several institutions in Illinois are working on Hymenoptera, including the Field Museum, Illinois Natural History Survey, Northern Illinois University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Western Illinois University. Easier access to what is already known about these insects can only improve their ability to understand hymenopteran biodiversity. Some of these books contain very attractive hand-colored plates and so traditionally have been locked up to preserve them from theft. Digitized copies of these volumes, which will also be contributed to the Biodiversity Heritage Library Project, will make these images much more useable and discoverable. Follow these links for more titles: Hymenoptera, Bees, Wasps, Ants.


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