Soffer Ornithology Collection Notes (alphabetical by author)

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Zeranski, Joseph D., Baptist, Thomas R. Connecticut birds 

Zheng, Zuo-xin  Qinling niaolei zhi (Birds of Chin-Ling mountains)

Zimmer, John Todd (1889-1957). Catalogue  of the Edward E. Ayer ornithological library

Zimmerman, William (1937-). Waterfowl  of North America 

Zoological Society of London. (Proceedings of the) Zoological Society  Bird illustrations 

Zoological Society of London (Waterhouse, F. H.). Catalogue of  the library  of the  Zoological Society  of London  Fifth edition.

Zeranski, Joseph D., Baptist, Thomas R. (with a contribution by George A. Clarke, Jr.; illustrations by Sheila McMahon)

Connecticut / birds  21.6 x 14.0 cm.  Pp.  [i-vii]viii-xxiii(1)1-328.  Original shiny sky blue boards with green figure of state on upper cover, green and dark blue printing on upper cover and spine.  Hanover, New Hampshire, University Press of New England, (1990).  Inscribed and signed by both authors on upper endpaper. 

i, Half-title; ii, blank; iii, title; iv, copyright 1990; printed in USA; ISBN 0-87451-513-0; first printing; v, dedication; vi, blank; vii, contents; xi, foreword by Roland Clement; xiii, acknowledgments; xix, historical notes on Connecticut ornithology by George A. Clarke, Jr.; 1, description of Connecticut; 14, summary of natural and cultural history of Connecticut; 28, species accounts, Gavia stellata-Passer domesticus, comprising about 380 species; 271, list of miscellaneous reports; 280, birding areas in Connecticut; 288, checklist of Connecticut birds; 307, bibliography (about 180 entries); 321, index of common names; 325, index of scientific names.  Contains 20 unnumbered text line drawings and four unnumbered, full-page text line maps.

This book describes the contemporary status of all Connecticut birds including arrival and departure dates for migrants and breeders.  The first list of Connecticut birds was published  by James Linsley in 1843 and the first comprehensive account of the status of its bird life was that of C. Hart Merriam (1877).  That work was updated by Sage, Bishop and Bliss in 1913.  The present book includes changes that have occurred in the subsequent three-quarters of a century.  The authors told me that the initial print run was 2000 copies.

Listed by Cornell, Trinity, Yale.  Not listed by AMNH, Harvard.



Zheng, Zuo-xin

Qinling niaolei zhi (Birds of Chin-Ling mountains)  27.8 x 21.3 cm.  Pp.  2PL, i-ii1-241(1).  Original publisher’s green and white wrappers.  Peking, Science Press, 1973.  Signature and some text notes by Don Messersmith, American ornithological trip leader.

PL1r, title; PL1v, publishing information; PL2r (?); PL2v, blank; I, contents (page numbers for families(Chinese and Latin); 1, introduction, a general overview with tables 1-10 (1 folding) covering distribution with respect to season, altitude, mountain face etc; 29, species accounts, Podiceps ruficollis poggei-Emberiza stemsseni (1-338); 239, bibliography (about 80 references).  Contains plates I-IV.  I is a text map; II is a collection of five uncolored  photographs, poorly printed in half tone and included in pagination.  III and IV are colored plates printed in half-tone on a single leaf and not included in pagination.  Also contains uncolored text figures 1-65 depicting various species.

The Chin-Ling mountains or Qin-ling shan are a relatively undisturbed part of China in Shaanxi Province best known for being a stronghold for wild pandas.  They are also rich in ornithological  interest as documented in this book

The book is printed in Chinese characters but the names of the birds are also given in Latin.  Original synonymy and first synonymy for the Chinese representative are provided for each species, together with various measurements and a brief essay.

OCLC locates one copy in the Natural History Museum of London.

Zimmer, John Todd (1889-1957)

Catalogue / of the / Edward E. Ayer / ornithological library  22.5 x 15.5 cm.  Two preliminary leaves, pp.  [i-ii]iii-x(2)1-364(4)365-706(4).  Publisher's red cloth with gilt lettering on upper cover and spine.  New York, Arno Press, 1974

First preliminary leaf: recto, Arno series half-title "natural sciences in America"; verso, editors of series; second preliminary leaf: recto, reprint volume title; verso, publication information for reprint edition; ISBN 0-405-05773-3; i, facsimile of original title page for part I; ii, original printer designation: Field Museum Press; iii, historical preface by Wilfred H. Osgood; vii, author's preface; unpaginated leaf: recto, half-title, part I; verso, uncolored, half-tone portrait from painting of Ayer; 1-364, part I, catalogue text, authors A-K; unpaginated leaf: recto, half-title, part II; verso, uncolored frontispiece, part II; second unpaginated leaf: recto, title page, part II; verso, original printer designation; 365-706, continuation of catalogue, L-Z; final two unpaginated leaves, list of Arno Press publications on natural sciences in America.  Contains, in addition to two frontispieces, nine uncolored, half-tone plates, two printed on both sides of a single leaf, the other seven printed on one side only, all not included in pagination.

This is the Arno "Reprint Edition" of the original work which was Field Museum of Natural History Publication 239,  Zoological Series,  Vol. XVI, published in two parts, November, 1926.

Zimmer's is amongst very few truly descriptive bibliographies concerned with ornithological books.  Every line is accounted for on each title page and every leaf receives mention.  In addition, there is a summary paragraph and highly informed analysis at the end of most entries.  When appropriate, information concerning part numbers and dates of issue is elaborated.  Unfortunately, signatures are not enumerated and techniques are not identified by which illustrations are reproduced.

The Ayer collection contained most important ornithological books and was selective rather than exhaustive or representational.  This very useful bibliography provides detailed descriptions of most important ornithological books up to the time of its publication.

The original work, or a reprint of it, is present in all libraries with significant ornithological content.

Zimmerman, William (1937-)(introduction and editorial supervision by Olin Sewall Pettingill Jr.)

Waterfowl / of North America  Oblong.  55 x 70 cm.  Pp.  [1-6](2)7-93(1).  Publisher's gilt roll-ruled quarter green morocco and green cloth.  Circular gilt medallion with gilt lettering and duck design on upper cover.  Olive endpapers.  Two signed and numbered duplicate prints, one of plate 25 (ring-necked duck, 26/100), the other of plate 29 (female barrow's goldeneye with young, 93/100) laid in loosely.  Housed in olive cloth-covered wooden board carrying case with handle and metal clasps.  Louisville, Framehouse Gallery, (1974).

1, Half-title, signed in pencil and numbered 446/1000 by Zimmerman; 2, copyright 1974; credits: binding by Cincinnati Bindery, Cincinnati; design by William Zimmerman; Typography by Dayton Typographic Services, Dayton; "lithographic reproduction" by Continental Lithographic Corp., Cleveland; Marshwood Litho Service Inc., Cincinnati; Pinaire Lithographing Corp., Louisville; Stevenson Photo Color Co., Cincinnati; Studio Press, Indianapolis; Young & Klein, Inc., Cincinnati; 3, title; 4, note to reader; 5, contents; 6, introduction; Unpaginated leaf (omitted from contents): recto, dedication with uncolored half-tone figure of Labrador ducks; verso, blank; 7-90, rectos with plate number, species designation, versos with range map, descriptive letter-press for facing plates 1-42; 91, acknowledgments; 92, sources of information (10 entries); 93, index of English names.  Contains colored plates 1-42, so enumerated in contents and on recto of preceding leaf, printed in half-tone on recto only and not included in pagination.  Also contains uncolored half-tone figure of Labrador ducks on dedication page and 42 uncolored distribution maps.

The artist is best known for his illustrations in Midwestern state bird books (Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky).  The present work, a labor of the heart, was issued in a limited edition of 1000 copies.  It illustrates each of the 44 species of ducks, geese and swans known to have nested in North America and Zimmerman provides a brief essay on each with weight, length and wingspan measurements.  Most of the birds are depicted in flight and all are shown in dynamic situations, usually with little background.  Dramatic predator relationships figure in some of the plates such as a brant and arctic fox in combat, a great-horned owl clutching a recently killed mallard-pintail hybrid, and a golden eagle pursuing buffleheads.  This is amongst the largest formats for an ornithological book produced in the United States and the work is nicely printed on fine white mat paper that accentuates the crispness of the images, already enhanced by the limited, but accurately drawn foregrounds.  Zimmerman makes liberal and effective use of white space and the book is quite handsome.

LSU, No. 1287.  Unlisted by AMNH, Cornell, Harvard, Trinity, Yale.


Zoological Society of London


(Proceedings of the) Zoological Society  Bird illustrations  (So titled on spine).  41.2 x 34.4 cm.  100 unpaginated leaves, each containing a cutout central frame, @21 x 14 cm, through which a mounted colored plate is displayed.  Late 20th century black half-morocco delineated by gilt rules from green buckram sides.  Spine with five raised bands, red calf gilt lettering pieces with gilt design in second and fourth compartments, same gilt design in other four compartments.  (London, 1866-1891).  Contains 100 colored plates as described below.

In 1848, members of the Zoological Society of London were given the option of receiving the Proceedings either with no plates or with colored plates.  The journal had been initiated without plates in 1831.  In 1867, the option was changed to a choice between colored and uncolored plates.  The colored plates from this journal are uncommon because the membership of the Society was small and a substantial fraction of the members chose the less expensive alternatives, i. e. without plates or with uncolored plates.  The present collection contains 99 colored lithographs from the Proceedings issued between 1866 and 1891, and one, a "Green Tody" whose source and artist are unidentified but which was printed by Graf & Soret, a firm active between 1830 and 1840 which printed some of the lithographs for J. E. Gray's Illustrations of Indian Zoology (1830-1834).  For the 99 lithographs from the Proceedings, the years represented by more than 10 examples are 1866, 1867, 1874, 1879 and 1885.  The artists represented are: J. Smit, 75; J. G. Keulemans, 20; Zofija Glaser, 1; Otto Finsch, 1; F. W. Frohawk, 1; and J. Wolf, 1.  All of these plates are hand-colored and printed by Hanhart except for four by Mintern Bros. in 1887 and 1888 and five chromolithographs, four in 1867 by Hanhart and one in 1891 by West, Newman.  The articles from which these plates were taken are all catalogued by Root and Johnson in their Index (1986).  The numbering of the plates is keyed to the year (volume) in which they appeared.

One of the more interesting plates is that of Eos insularis, signed by J. Smit and issued in 1885.  This picture is identical, save for the signature, to that appearing in Guillemard's Cruise of the Marchesa (1886) where it serves as the frontispiece for the second volume and is unsigned.  It is attributed to Keulemans by Coldewey & Keulemans (the artist's great grandson) who reproduce it in their biography of the artist (Feathers to brush [1982]). It would have been very unlike Keulemans to allow a plate of his to appear unsigned and the frontispiece in the first volume bears his initials.  Smit and Keulemans were well acquainted and would certainly not have plagiarized one-another.  It seems clear to me that this highly attractive plate was done by Smit and that the biographers of Keulemans have erred in this matter.

Root & Johnson, Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London.  An index to the artists, 1848-1900(1986)

Zoological Society of London (Waterhouse, F. H.)

Catalogue / of / the library / of the / Zoological Society / of London / Fifth edition 21.2 x 14.2 cm.  [A]2B-3H83I4[$1, 2 signed]; 430 ll. Pp. (4)[1]2-856. Contemporary blue cloth, gilt lettering to spine. Endpapers patterned with leaf or floral motif; London, printed by Taylor and Francis (for the Sociey), 1902.

A1r, title; A1v, Taylor and Francis imprint; A2r, preface by P. L. Sclater identifying Society librarian, F. H. Waterhouse, as compiler; A2v, regulations of the library; 1-731(1), catalogue (part I, books); 732, part II, periodicals; indexed alphabetically; 753-837(1), periodicals indexed by place of publication; 839, appendix (additions to both parts of catalog).

The Zoological Society was a powerful force in natural history at the turn of the century under the leadership of its executive secretary, Philip Lutley Sclater (1829-1913). The size of the library was greatly augmented during his tenure and he tells us in the preface that it now (1902) contains 11,000 different works not including the large number of periodicals that are listed in the second part of the catalog.

The Society had more than its share of very rare books, however, the information given about them is quite meager. It includes author, title, time and place of publication, and a loose designation of size (e.g. "8vo".) Occasionally a work will be broken down into component volumes or chapters but there are virtually no bibliographic details, not even, for example, an indication of pagination. The library at this time was very comprehensive and a work not listed in it was either exceedingly rare or trivial.

This edition listed by AMNH, Cornell, Harvard, Trinity, Yale.


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