Soffer Ornithology Collection Notes (alphabetical by author)

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Uchida, Seinosuke (1884-1975). The Birds of Japan  Nippon Chôrui Zusetsu 

Uchida, Seinosuke (1884-1975)  Shuryõ chõrui zukai (The book of game birds, illustrated)

Uchida, Seinosuke (1884-1975)  Bird-banding in Japan

Uchida, Seinosuke (1884-1975)  Shimpen nihon chorui zusetsu (New illustrations of the birds of Japan [1949])

U. S. Department of Agriculture  Division of Biological Survey Bird bulletins of the U.S.  Biological Surveys 

United States Geologic and Geographic Survey of the Territories.  Bulletin (1875-1879). North American Ornithology 

United States Geologic and Geographic Survey of the Territories.  Bulletin VI 2 1881

Utamaro Kitagawa (ca 1753-1806) A chorus of birds

Uchida, Seinosuke (1884-1975)

The Birds of Japan  Nippon Chôrui Zusetsu  Two volumes comprising text and atlas respectively.  25.4 x 19.0 cm.  In Japanese (bird names in Latin as well)with printing along the long axis of the book save for the indexes which are printed western style.   The text volume is bound in brown cloth backed with decorated blue cloth.  It is bound Japanese style, i. e. right-to-left, and on the brown section of the right cover is printed: Uchida / The Birds / of / Japan.  The atlas is bound in blue cloth with Japanese gilt lettering on the right cover.  The text volume contains 324 leaves.  Most pagination is in Japanese save for a 36 page table numbered in Arabic and the indexes with lower case Roman numerals. Tokyo, 1914?; 1926?

The  pages numbered from right to left starting from the  right cover are as follows: (4, title, prefatory leaf)1-3[4]1-3[4]1[2]1-9[10]1-7[8]1-535[536](4)1-36(table) i. e. 608 pp.  The pages going from left to right starting from the left cover are (6, colophon, publication information)[i]ii-iv[i]ii-iii[iv-v]vi-xv[xvi][v]vi-xvii[xviii] i.e. 40 pp.  Atlas, starting from right cover, has title leaf, two leaves of contents and 36 (14 colored) plates printed on right side only each with a facing tissue leaf containing letterpress.  

According to Taka-Tsukasa, in his Birds of Nippon (1932-1943)(p. XXXVIII), this work by Uchida is the first full treatment of Japanese birds written in Japanese.  The first edition, according to him, was published in two volumes appearing in 1913 and 1914 with a third volume in 1914 that covered Korea and Formosa.  He writes that a revised edition was published by Uchida 1925-1927.  The present work contains a bibliography (pp. 31-37) that includes some citations pertinent to Korea which suggests that this is the revised edition in which material on Korea has been incorporated into the two volume work.  However, Wheldon & Wesley, in their Catalogue 170 of 1985 list, as item 736, Uchida, S., Isao, I. An Illustrated Study of Japanese Birds revised edition, 1926 with 36 plates, some colored.  Clearly, the binding of their copy of the revised edition was not the same as this one which contains a title written in English that differs from the one they gave.

Hitoshi Momiyama and Ken Narushima were the authors of a work with 50 hand-colored lithographic plates published in Tokyo in 1893 entitled in Japanese and English, Birds of Japan.  The work is written in Japanese and was evidently unknown to Taka-Tsukasa when he compiled his bibliography and made his statement about Uchida’s priority.

Two of the plates in this work are signed K. Yokoyama.  Most of the others bear a monogram that contains a K as the initial part of a design which I can’t interpret but which probably alludes to the same individual.  This monogram is also present on the illustrations in Kuroda’s Monograph of the Charadriidae, a volume published in 1918 whose format and design resemble closely those of the present work.

Neither the 1914 nor the 1926 edition of this work is listed in any of the usual printed bibliographies including those for McGill, Trinity, Yale and the Field Museum.  Nor is either listed in the BM(NH) or its supplement.  Amongst the on-line catalogs, Harvard and the LOC list the 1914 edition, Oxford lists the 1925-7 edition, else unlisted at Cornell, AMNH, Yale, Trinity, BM(NH), Smithsonian.  UC-Berkeley has quite an extensive list of natural history and ornithological works by Uchida but apparently lacks either of these editions.



Uchida, Seinosuke (1884-1975)

Shuryõ chõrui zukai (The book of game birds, illustrated) Printed on thin paper entirely in Japanese.  Pp. 136 (paginated in Japanese) not including fly leaves which contain some printing.  Bound right to left and printed along the long axis of the page. Original publisher’s (?) maroon cloth with printing and ornithological designs on upper (right) cover and printing on spine. Tokyo, Central Line Stock Association, 1920. Contains 33 uncolored half-tone plates displaying two to four species, printed on both sides of glossy paper, and probably not included in pagination.  Also contains two half-tone colored plates printed on one side only of glossy paper.  The illustrations are very good and are initialed.  I believe they were drawn by Shigekazu Kobayashi.

The work seems to be scarce as I could not locate any reference to it.  I did, however, find a listing in OCLC of the identical title but ascribed to Noshomusho Nomukyoku



Uchida, Seinosuke (1884-1975)

Bird-banding in Japan  18.5 x 12.6 cm  Pp.  1-10.  In English.  Original gray printed wrappers, Tokyo, Department of Animal Industry, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 1928.

Pp. 1-10, text.  Contains uncolored text figures 1-2, one a map, the second a half-tone photograph.

Bird-banding was started in Japan in 1924 and this paper summarizes the number of bandings and returns for 1924, 1925, and 1926.  Uchida was an important early Japanese ornithologist who was the author of  one of the first (1914-1915) full treatments of Japanese birds written in Japanese.

This pamphlet has its own cover and pagination and is either an independent entity or an off-print.  It is not an extract.

OCLC locates three copies.


Uchida, Seinosuke (1884-1975)

Shimpen / nihon chorui zusetsu (New illustrations of the birds of Japan) 26.0 x 18.5 cm.  In Japanese.  Bound western style (left to right).  Pp.  (2, title within green triple frame)1-313(1)(2, publication data including date of printing, 15 Dec., 1949, first edition, 25 Dec., 1949).  Laid in, a slip indicating a special price of 2,000 yen. Original publisher’s green cloth with triple gilt frame on upper cover, Japanese gilt lettering on spine.  (Tokyo), So Gen Sha, (1949).  Housed in printed brown cardboard slipcase.  A correction slip is loosely inserted in the book.

1-4, contents; 51-182, colored illustrations and accompanying text;

Contains 390 half-tone colored illustrations of 379 species and 11 subspecies printed, six illustrations per page, on both sides of 32 paginated leaves and the recto only of a 33rd leaf.  The colored figures are arranged so that the appropriate text is opposite the figure.  The work also contains line uncolored text figures 1-32.

This may be considered a third edition, the others being those of 1913-1914 and 1925-1927.  The work is not uncommon.  OCLC locates 26 copies.



U. S. Department of Agriculture  Division of Biological Survey

Bird bulletins of the U.S.  Biological Surveys  1898-1915  (from spine)  22.3 x 14.7 cm.  Half-brown sheepskin with black buckram sides.   Spine with three raised ridges, gilt lettering in second, fourth and fifth compartments. Green patterned endpapers.  Black speckled edges.  Washington, Government Printing Office, various dates.

A collection of the following articles:

Beal, F.(oster) E.(llenborough) L.(ascelles) (1840-1916), Judd, Sylvester D.  Cuckoos and shrikes in their relation to agriculture.  Bulletin No. 9, 1898.  Pp.  [1-2]3-26.  Uncolored half-tone frontispiece and uncolored text figure 1.

Judd, Sylvester D.(wight)  Birds of a Maryland farm / a local study of economic ornithology  Bulletin No. 17, 1902.  Pp. [1-2]3-116.  Half-tone uncolored plates I-XVII, printed on one side only, including a map  and several containing two photographs.  Uncolored text figures 1-41. 

Judd, Sylvester D.  Bobwhite and other quails of the United States / in their economic relations  Bulletin No. 21, 1905.  Pp.  [1-2]3-66.  Half-tone plates frontispiece (colored by A. Hoen & Co. after Fuertes) and II, (uncolored, after Fuertes).  Text figures 1-10.

Howell, Arthur H.(olmes)(1872-1840)  Birds that eat the cotton boll weevil / a report of progress  Bulletin 25, 1906.   Pp.  [1-2]3-22.  Unillustrated.

Cooke, Wells W.(oodbridge)(1858-1916)  Distribution and migration of / North American shorebirds  Bulletin No. 35, Revised, 1912.  Pp.  [1-2]3-100.  Uncolored half-tone plates I-IV after Fuertes and printed on one side only. 

Howell, Arthur H.  Birds of Arkansas  Bulletin 38, 1911.  Pp.  [1-2]3-100.  Colored folding map by Norris Peters Co., Washington DC as plate I.  Unccolored half-tone plates II-VII after Fuertes printed on one side only.  Uncolored text figures 1-4.

McAtee, W.(aldo) L.(ee)(1883-1962).  Woodpeckers in relation to trees / and wood products  Bulletin No. 39, 1911.  Pp.  [1-2]3-99(1).  Half-tone plates I-XII including two colored by Hoen & Co. after Fuertes.  Text figures 1-44.

Dill, Homer R., Bryan, Wm. Alanson(1875-1942)  Report / of an / expedition to Laysan Island / in 1911 / under the joint auspices of the United States / Department of Agriculture and / the University of Iowa  Bulletin No. 42, 1912.  Pp.  [1-2]3-30  Uncolored half-tone plates I-IX printed on five leaves, several containing more than one photograph.

Beal, F. E. L.  Food of our more important / flycatchers  Bulletin No. 44. 1912.  Pp.  [1-2]3-67(1).  Half-tone plates I-Vafter Fuertes, four colored.

Cooke, Wells W.  Distribution and migration of / North American Herons / and their allies  Bulletin No. 45, 1913.  Pp.  [1-2]3-70.  Text figures 1-21, all maps.

Beal, F. E. L. Some common birds / in their relation to agriculture  Farmers’ Bulletin No. 54.  Pp.  [1]2-48.  Text figures 1-22 after J. L. Ridgway.

Fisher, A.(lbert) K.(enwick) (1856-1948)  Hawks and owls from the standpoint of the farmer  Circular No. 61, issued July 18, 1897.  Pp. [1]2-18.  Text figures 1-6 after J. L. Ridgway.

Merriam, C.(linton) Hart(1855-1942) National bird and mammal reservations in Alaska in / charge of the U. S. Department of Agriculture  Circular No. 71, issued April 11, 1910.  Pp.  [1]2-15(1).  Seven unnumbered maps from the Department of the Interior.

McAtee, W. L.  Our vanishing shorebirds  Circular No. 79, issued April 8, 1911.  Pp.  [1]2-9(1).  Figures 1-3, full-page half-tone illustrations after Fuertes.

Cooke, W. W.  Distribution of the American egrets  Circular No. 84, issued September 13, 1911.  Pp. [1]2-5(1).  Two unnumbered text maps.

Henshaw, Henry W.(etherbee) (1850-1930), Palmer, T.(heodore) S.(herman)(1868-1955)  W.  Explanation of the proposed regulations for / the protection of migratory birds  Circular No. 93, issued June 23, 1913.  Pp.  [1]2-5(1).  Unillustrated.

Palmer, T. S., Oldys, Henry  Importation of game birds and / eggs for propagation  Farmers’ Bulletin No. 197, 1904.  Pp.  [1-2]3-28.  Figure 1, map.

McAtee, W. L.  Our grosbeaks and their / value to agriculture  Farmers’ Bulletin 456, 1911.  Pp.  [1-2]3-14.  Figures 1-3, text half-tones after Fuertes.

Dearborn, Ned  (1865-)  The English sparrow as a pest  Farmers’ Bulletin 493, 1912.  Pp.  [1-2]3-24.  Text figures 1-17, mostly of traps.

McAtee, W. L., Beal, F. E. L. Some common game, aquatic, / and rapacious birds in / relation to man  Farmers’ Bulletin 497, 1912.  Pp.  [1-2]3-30.  Text figures 1-14, most by Robert J. Sim.

Beal, F. E. L., McAtee, W. L.  Food of some well known birds / of forest, farm, and garden  Farmers’ Bulletin 506, 1912.  Pp.  [1-2]3-35(1).  Text figures 1-16, most by Sim.

Dearborn, Ned  Bird houses and how to build them  Farmers’ bulletin 609, issued September 11, 1914, reprinted without change February, 1914.  Pp.  [1]2-19(1).  Text figures 1-48.

Beal, F. E. L.  Some common birds useful to the farmer  Farmers’ Bulletin 630, February 13, 1915.  Pp.  [1]2-27(1).  Text figures 1-23 by John L. Ridgway.

This collection contains a great deal of basic ornithological information.  C. Hart Merriam and Henry W. Henshaw were the chiefs of the Biological Survey during the period covered and each was primarily interested in ornithology.  Judd’s Birds of a Maryland farm and Howell’s Birds of Arkansas are still well known works.

 Several of the articles contain attractive artwork by Fuertes and those colored plates printed by A. Hoen and company of Baltimore are particularly noteworthy.  Hoen also reproduced some of the plates by Fuertes for the Harriman Expedition.  Their reproductions are not ordinary three or four-color half-tones and resemble somewhat those done by collotype but appear to have involved some photochemical technique.



United States Geologic and Geographic Survey of the Territories.  Bulletin (1875-1879)

North American Ornithology  22.1 x 14.7 cm.  Contemporary half-leather, marbled boards, red-speckled edges.  Red morocco lettering piece on spine containing title as noted.  Tan lettering piece with call number on spine.  Washington D. C. 

This volume contains a collection of ornithological publications about North American birds.  There is a single manuscript leaf of contents in a contemporary ink hand and a later pencil notation in a different hand, “U. S. Geological Surveys.  Bulletins”  I have been able to find precise citations for some of these articles in the first installment of Coues’s Ornithological Bibliography (cited simply “Coues” below) and the year of publication of others in Wood’s bibliography.  I am reasonably certain of those citations that I give without parentheses.  Parentheses around the citation indicate that I have deduced it.  I could not find this journal i. e. the Bulletin in the Yale, Ayer or McGill catalogues.  However, it is listed in the Catalogue of the British Museum of Natural History, p. 2175 and said to have appeared in volumes I-VI, 1874-1882.  Coues cites the volumes in lower case.  Volume I is said to have been divided into two series. 

Elliott Coues (1842-1899) was the Secretary of the U. S. Geological Survey and was certainly the driving force behind the large number of outstanding ornithological articles contained in the Bulletin.  Those represented in the present volume and listed below do not constitute the entire complement.  Indeed, the second and third installments of Coues’s own Ornithological Bibliography were published in this journal but are not included in this particular volume.

Allen, Joel Alsaph (1838-1921)Sexual, Individual, and Geographical Variation in Leu- / costicte Tephrocotis  (ii, 1876, pp. [345]346-350).

Coues, Elliott (1842-1899)Field-notes on Birds Observed in Dakota / and Montana Along the Forty-ninth Parallel / During the Seasons of 1873 and 1874  iv, 1878, pp. 545-661(1).  Coues, p. 740.

-On the Present State of Passer domesticus / in America, with Special Reference to the Western States and Territories  (v, 1879, pp. 175-193(1).

Gibbs, MorrisAnnotated List of the Birds of / Michigan  (v, 1879, pp. 481-497(1)).

McCauley, C. A. H.  Notes on the Ornithology of the Region / About the Source of the Red River of Texas, from / Observations Made During the Exploration Conducted / by Lieut. E. H. Ruffner, Corps of Engineers, U. S. A.  iii, 1877, pp. [655]656-695(1).  Coues, p. 732.

McChesney, Charles E.Notes on the Birds of Fort Sisseton, Dakota / Territory  (v, 1879, pp. 71-103(1)).

Ridgway, Robert (1850-1929)Studies of the American Falconidae  (ii, 1876, pp. [91]92-182.)

-Ornithology of Guadeloupe Island, Based on Notes / and Collections Made by Dr. Edward Palmer ii, 1876, pp. 183-195(6, including uncolored plates 30, 31 on rectos only with legends on facing leaves).  Coues, p. 727.

-Outlines of a Natural Arrangement of the Falconidae (i, second series, 1875, pp. [225]226-231(31, including uncolored plates XI-XVIII on rectos only with legends on facing leaves)).  Wood, p. 537.

-Studies of the American Herodiones / Part I- Synopsis of the American Genera of the Ardeidae and Cico- / niidae,, Including Descriptions of Three New Genera, and a Mono- / graph of the American Species of the Genus Ardea, Linn.  (iv, 1878, 219-251(1).

Sennett, George B.Notes on the Ornithology of the Lower Rio / Grande of Texas from Observations Made During / the Season of 1877  iv, 1878, pp. 1-66.  Coues, pp. 745.

-Further Notes on the Ornithology of the / Lower Rio Grande of Texas, from Observations . Made During the Spring of 1878  (v, 1879, pp. 371-440).

All of these articles represented significant contributions to American ornithology.  Those by Sennett are particularly interesting to me because, in addition to describing a number of birds new to the U. S. and its territories, as well as an entirely new one, he confirmed findings of Jacob P. Giraud (1811-1870) that had been disputed since their publication 40 years earlier.


United States Geologic and Geographic Survey of the Territories.  Bulletin  VI, 2.Bulletin / of the United States / geological and geographical survey / of / the territories.  Volume VI….Number 2.  23.0 x 15.0 cm.  [138-131-5]14-258 (last leaf blank)($1 signed; signature 20 lacking on page 305; all signature numbers preceded by  initials G  B); 99 ll.  Pp.  203-397(3, blank).  Original gray printed wrappers.  Washington, Government Printing Office, September 19, 1881.

 There are three ornithological articles in this issue of the Bulletin.

 Art IX.  Hoffman, W.(alter) J. (ames)(1846-1899) “Annotated list of the birds of Nevada”.  Pp. 203-256 and three full-page, uncolored maps, which are not included in pagination.  The author describes the distribution and some field notes of his and others on almost 250 species. He also provides an interesting bibliography of 21, mostly governmental, publications.

 Art XIII. Shufeldt, R.(obert) W. (ilson)(1850-1934) “ Osteology of the North American Tetraonidae”.  Pp. 309-350.  Contains uncolored lithographic plates V-XIII by T. Sinclair & Son lith, artist not given.  The “explanation of plates” is missing plate VIII, the explanation for which is included with that of plate VII.  The plates, all of which are osteological, are not included in the pagination.

 Art XIV.  Shufeldt, R. W.  “Osteology of Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides”.  Pp. 351-359.  Contains uncolored lithographic plate XIV.

 Both of the authors here cited were physicians with a strong interest in ethnology.

Utamaro Kitagawa (ca 1753-1806)


A Chorus of Birds  Introduction by J. Meech-Pekarik.  Note and translation by J. T. Kenney.  25.3 x 19.7 cm.  Unpaginated.  Contains 25 accordion folded leaves opening from the recto (European) side.  These leaves include 15 colored plates, each “double page”.  Green cloth with printed label on upper cover.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, A Studio Book, Viking Press, New York, 1981. In card slipcase with printed label.

This is a handsome reproduction of a book in the museum’s collection known as the “Book of Birds” that was published in Edo (Tokyo) around 1790.  The highly regarded artist and printmaker, Utamaro (ca. 1753-1806), was best known for his depiction of the women of Yoshiwara (the “licensed pleasure quarter of Edo”).  This book was originally entitled Momochidori kyoka awase  (“One Hundred Birds in a Competition of Humorous Poetry”).  The 15 plates were published in two volumes and they contained on their printed surfaces, not only fine pictures of birds but also Edo Kyoka poetry or “mad verse” in calligraphy.  The whole was intended apparently as a highly sophisticated form of entertainment, probably with double entendres that would be difficult to identify now.  These poems are translated in the present book by J. T. Kenney.  In addition, the birds are identified, accurately as far as I can make out, by Joseph Bell of the New York Zoological Society.  This is an example of a late 18th century Japanese work with serious pictures of birds although it wasn’t really intended as a bird book in the current meaning of the designation, being meant primarily to provide amusement.

The pictures, however, are excellent and I should certainly love to own a copy of the original.  The present reproduction is attractively produced and was printed by Dai Nippon of Tokyo, an outstanding firm, particularly for a work of Japanese interest.


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