To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This chapter explores an intriguing book/object hybrid in the Whipple Museum’s collection: a set of mosses in the Whipple Museum dated 1818 and labelled Musci Britannici. These sets of labelled specimens are known as exsiccatae (from the Latin for ‘dried’) and usually consist of pressed plants all belonging to the same taxonomic group mounted on loose sheets contained in covers or boxes. Such an object highlights and straddles divisions between libraries and museums, between cabinet and field work, and between commerce and the established practice of gift exchange in natural history. By studying the production and distribution of exsiccatae at a time when taxonomic systems were in formation, it is argued that, more than books or collections, they were instruments for seeing, designed to hone visual skills and calibrate observational powers. It also offers a window onto the social status and working skills of artisan botanists such as the maker of Musci Britannici, Edward Hobson, a poor warehouseman from Manchester.
From Aztec accounts of hibernating hummingbirds to contemporary television spectaculars, human encounters with nature have long sparked wonder, curiosity and delight. Written by leading scholars, this richly illustrated volume offers a lively introduction to the history of natural history, from the sixteenth century to the present day. Covering an extraordinary range of topics, from curiosity cabinets and travelling menageries to modern seed banks and radio-tracked wildlife, this volume draws together the work of historians of science, of environment and of art, museum curators and literary scholars. The essays are framed by an introduction charting recent trends in the field and an epilogue outlining the prospects for the future. Accessible to newcomers and established specialists alike, Worlds of Natural History provides a much-needed perspective on current discussions of biodiversity and an enticing overview of an increasingly vital aspect of human history.