Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 October 2017
Natural history products formed an important, but little studied, component of the globalization of trade in the mid nineteenth century. The trade, specifically in zoology, occurred in the face of considerable challenges. It penetrated some of the more remote areas of the globe; its products were heterogeneous and difficult to price; and exchange occurred among scientists, commercial traders, and collectors, each of whom had their own particular practices and mores. This article charts the dimensions of this trade and offers explanations about the ways in which its complexities were addressed through major developments in taxidermy, taxonomy, transport and business logistics, alternative forms of exchange, and trust-based networks. More broadly, our work speaks to current developments in global history, imperial networks, and the history of scientific collecting.
We acknowledge valuable feedback from members of the Colonial and Settlers Studies reading group at Wollongong, particularly Jane Carey, Julia Martinez, Claire Lowrie, and Claire Wright. Dierdre Coleman, Jan Brazier, Michael Quinnell, and Anthony Gill also offered valuable insights. An earlier version of this article was presented to the ‘Colonial Formations: Connections and Collisions’ conference at the University of Wollongong in November 2016. The editors and two referees are also thanked for their very helpful comments. Claire Wright assisted in the preparation of this article.
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