Category Archives: natural history

Spine detail from Dana's Characteristics of volcanoes.
May 20th, 2018

In light of recent news re ports and striking video of an eruption from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, we revisit here some of our holdings about Kilauea, Hawaii, and […]

November 22nd, 2017

Thanksgiving this year is an apt time for us to show off a plate from volume 1 of American ornithology; or, the natural history of birds inhabiting the United States, […]

October 26th, 2017

We hope you will join us on Monday, October 30, at 3 PM in Special Collections for an informal gallery talk about our exhibit “Iceland.” On hand to talk about items on display […]

October 9th, 2017

Though we enjoyed summer-like weather this October weekend, the leaves are beginning to pile up around Madison, calling attention to differential patterns of leaf fall from one kind of tree […]

May 15th, 2017

An image of the “sea monk” or “monkish fish” in an announcement for this week’s Great Lakes Great Libraries conference in Madison caught our eye. The image was often reproduced in […]

Jacob's ladder from James Sowerby, English botany, or, Coloured figures of British plants.
April 30th, 2017

Please join us as Martha Glowacki reprises her lecture about the Chazen Museum exhibition “Martha Glowacki’s Natural History, Observations and Reflections” and Robin Rider introduces  the complementary Special Collections exhibit […]

March 24th, 2017

John James Audubon (best known for his double-elephant folio Birds of America) drew a sharp distinction between the North American badger and the European badger. One difference, easily seen in […]

Commelina coelestis from Roscoe's Floral illustrations of the seasons.
March 20th, 2017

To welcome the first day of spring tomorrow, we offer details of hand-colored engravings and distinctive bindings from our holdings. Our copy of Margaret Roscoe’s Floral illustrations of the seasons, […]

eye through magnifying glass, from Margaret Bryan's Lectures on natural philosophy (1806).
February 11th, 2017

We invite you to take a closer look at our new exhibit Natural History :: Natural Philosophy, on display in Special Collections through early June. The exhibit, designed to complement […]

January 13th, 2017

The four volumes of the Thordarson Collection copy of Audubon’s masterwork, Birds of America, feature uniform and striking bindings by Riviere & Sons in London. In line with what was evidently […]