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Adopt a Book was established to provide extra resources to build the fund for acquisitions of new books for the Smithsonian Libraries. When you adopt a book, a bookplate will be added in your name and the Libraries will use your contribution to purchase new books. In doing so, you help the Libraries grow its collection.

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The language of botany: Being a dictionary of the terms made use of in that science, principally by Linnaeus….  

by Thomas Martyn.  London: B. and J. White, 1793.

Thomas Martyn was Regius Professor of Botany at Cambridge University and an early adopter of Linnaean classification and nomenclature, which he promulgated in his public lectures.  In this work, based on a paper given to the Linnean Society in 1789, he defines hundreds of Linnaean terms and clarifies conceptual aspects of the Linnaean system, which is the foundation for the work of modern researchers at the NMNH.  

Catalogue des mammifères et des oiseaux observés en Algérie. 

by Victor Loche.  Paris, [1858].

This small work supplements the official reports of the Exploration Scientifique de l’Algérie (see separate listings).  The official birds and mammals volumes of the Expedition by Commandant Victor Loche (1806-1863), an active collector in northern Africa during and after the Expedition, were the last issued and were preceded by this work in which Loche first described and named several new species.  For that reason this catalog is an important adjunct to the expedition reports.  It is quite rare, being held by only seven libraries in the U.S. 
Q.F.F.Q.S. Dissertatio gradualis, De gravitate corporum terrestrium, quam, consensu ampliss. facult. philosoph. in Reg. Academ. Upsal. sub praesidio... Dn. Samuelis Klingenstierna...; publico examini modeste subjicit, Arvidus Arvidi Roman, Nericius, in Audit. Carol. Min. ad d. 17 Junii, anni MDCCXXXVII. horis ante meridiem consuetis.
Samuel Klingenstierna, praeses. Arvidus Arvidi Roman, respondent.
Upsaliae: Literis Höjerianis, 1737.
Graduate dissertation defended by A. A. Roman at the University of Uppsala discussing the effects of gravity upon terrestrial bodies.
[together with:]
Dissertatio gradualis de gravitate lunae . . .
Samuel Klingenstierna, praeses. Gabriel Kolmodin, respondent.
Holmiae: Literis Wernerianis, 1734.
Dissertatio gradualis de gravitate aeris. . .
Samuel Klingenstierna, praeses. Johann Kristiern Duraeus, respondent.
Upsaliae, Literis Wernerianis, 1732.
These three scarce dissertations, all relating to gravity, were presided over by the noted scientist Samuel Klingenstierna.
Le Grand Dépot (Paris, France) Porcelaines, faiences & cristaux ... [Paris : s.n.], 1889. A rare trade catalogue from the Paris firm of Le Grand Depot, who manufactured porcelains, faiences ceramics and glassware. It contains with color illustrations of a variety of tablewares in many popular patterns.

Livres de malacologie et de conchyliologie formant partie de la bibliotheque de Mr. J. G. Hidalgo. 

by J. G. Hidalgo.  Madrid: s. n., 1888.

One of the very few malacologists in Spain in the 19th century, Joaquín González Hidalgo y Rodríguez (1839-1923) served as the Professor of Malacology at the University of Madrid, specializing in the mollusks of the Iberian Peninsula, the Balearic Islands, and the Philippines.  SIL holds a half-dozen of his major works.  He built a fine shell collection and research library, which were eventually deposited in the Museo National de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid, but neither is readily accessible.  Thus it will be of interest to researchers at NMNH to be able to consult this bibliography, which identifies the books he owned and used in his work.  Extremely scarce, this work is held by only one other library in the U.S. and by two universities in Madrid.


Commentatio II.  De Zoolitho-dendroidis in genre et in specie de Schwartzburgico-Sondershusianis curiosissimus ac formosissimus...
by Albrecht Ritter.  Sonderhausen: [s.n.], 1736.
Albrecht Ritter (1684-1748) was in instructor at the royal Stiftscollegium at Ilefeld, Germany.  Although relatively little is know about him, he was an early proponent of taking students into the field and learning from direct observation of and experience with the natural world.  A member of the Leopoldinian Academy, he wrote several short works on fossils and "formed stones," as fossils were conceived of in the period.  This book is on fossil dendrites and alabaster from the Schwartzburg/Sonderhausen region of Germany, and is cited in Emanuel Mendes de Costa's Natural history of fossils (London, 1757).  This work is quite rare, held by only one library in the U.S., the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. 

Histoire naturelle et médicale des casses, et particulièrement de la casse et des sénés employés en médecine.  

by Frédéric Colladon [& Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle].  Montpellier: Jean Martel, 1816.

This is a thesis presented for a medical degree at the University of Montpelier by Louis Théodore Frédéric Colladon, a student of the renowned botanist Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle.  As was common in European universities at the time, it was de Candolle who wrote the detailed descriptions and classifications of plants in the genus Cassia, including numerous new species, based on his own herbarium and unpublished manuscripts. The student’s role that of explicating and defending the thesis.
Exploration scientifique de l’Algérie. Géologie et minérologie:  Géologie de l’Algérie.

M.E. Renou.  Paris, 1848.  

Conceived and directed by the naturalist Bory de Saint Vincent, one of the first modern, systematic biological surveys of northern Africa was undertaken by the French government in the early 1840s and resulted in a multi-volume series of scientific publications under the title of the Exploration Scientifique de l’Algérie.  SIL’s holdings of the set were incomplete.  This folio volume on the geology and mineralogy of Algeria includes five double-sized lithographed maps (two hand-colored).  

D.D. Disputatio, De natura et veritate methodi fluxionum, quam, consent. ampliss. facult. philos. in illustri Acad. Upsaliensi, praeside, ...Dn. Samuele Klingenstierna...; pro gradu publice ventilandam sistit Daniel Melander, Stockholmiensis, in Auditorio Carolino Majori, die XXV. Aprilis, A. MDCCLII. H.A.M.S.
Samuel Klingenstierna, praeses. Daniel Melanderhjelm, respondent.
Upsaliae: Typis Laur. M. Höjer..., [1752].
A scarce copy of Daniel Melander’s (1726-1810) dissertation on the rival claims and speculations that led to a concrete understanding of the nature and beauty of calculus.
By Stefano Marianini. Venezia: Dalla tip. di Alvisopoli, 1828.
Bound with:
- Marianini, Stefano. Memoria sopra la teoria chimica degli elettromotori voltiani. Venezia: Dalla tip. di Alvisopoli, 1830.
- Marianini, Stefano. Memorie di fisica sperimentale. Modena: R. Tip. camerale, 1838-1841.
- Marianini, Stefano. Metodo per ottenere i bassi-rilievi in rame: senza apposito elettromotore voltaico. Novara: Tip. Artaria e Comp., [1840]
Three works by Stefano Marianini, follower of Volta's work on electro-motors, and pfofessor of physics in Venice and then in Modena. 
Georgii Trapezuntii In Claudii Ptolemaei centum aphorismos commentarius : eiusdem, De antisciis, in quorum rationem fata sua reijcit. Item ab eodem, Cur astrologorum iudicia plerumque fallant. Nunc primùm omnia in lucem êdita. Additus est dialogus Ioannis Pontani, in quo doctissimè disputatur, quatenus credendum sit astrologiae...
By George of Trebizond. Coloniae: Ioan. Gymnicus excudebat, Anno 1544.
A collection of notable works relating to astrology dealing with body condition, the soul, luck and accidents, and various medical topics all dealt with in terms of their relationship to the stars.
A large dictionary English and Dutch, in two parts:  wherein each language is set forth in its proper form… .  4th edition, corrected and enlarged.

by William Sewel.  Amsterdam:  Jacob Ter Beek, 1749.      

The Cullman Library has been building a collection of foreign-language dictionaries from the same time periods as the books in our rare collections (16th-19th centuries), so that researchers can consult contemporary sources when reading and translating the books.  Latin, Dutch, German, French, and Spanish have been the top priorities, with Swedish, Portuguese, and Italian as a second tier.  For 18th-century Dutch we recently bought the 4th edition of Sewel’s English-Dutch dictionary (first published in 1691).  A recognized classic in its field, it also contains a grammar for both languages and other prefatory material and was still in print in the 19th century.
Beschreibung eines Ellipsograph:. . . . womit man wahre Ellipsen ohne Berechnung der Brennpunkte sehr leicht beschreiben kann, nebst etwas Neues für den Brücken- und Gewölben-Bau und den Steinschnitt.
By Georg Friedrich Parrot. Gotha: In der Ettingerschen Buchhandlung, 1794.
A superb monograph on the theory, construction and use of a mechanical drawing device to describe ellipses.
Handbuch fur Naturaliensammler oder grundliche Anweisung die Naturkorper aller drei Reiche zu sammeln,….  

by Theodor Thon.  Ilmenau: Bernh. Fried. Voight, 1827.

Held by only one other library in North America, this book is a guide to collecting and preserving natural-history specimens.  Thon (1792-1838) provides thorough and detailed instructions on the collecting, preparing, and stuffing of all manner of mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects, as well as plants, wood samples, and minerals.  The plates depict the various tools used and the procedures for preparing the specimens.  Adding to publications in these practical subjects written and/or acquired in the past by the Institution’s scientists, the Smithsonian Libraries have been actively building this specialized collection to form a comprehensive resource for the Institution’s museum staff.  Along with related works on directions for field-collectors, as well as taxidermy manuals, these books and pamphlets document the evolving techniques and standards for the collection, documentation, and preservation of museum specimens through the 18th and 19th centuries.  

By Eustachio Manfredi. Bononiae: Typis Constantini Pisarri..., 1724.
A very rare work of observational astronomy on the transit of Mercury witnessed by Manfredi From the Bologna observatory on November 9, 1723. First observed in 1677, only five transits had been previously recorded, and the planet’s highly eccentric orbit had yet to be charted.
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