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Discussion in 'Taxidermy History' started by WILDLIFER, Feb 20, 2007.


    WILDLIFER " Damn Mini Flesher !"

    Sir, what would be your pick of top three books for researching the history of Taxidermy ?

    Thank You
  2. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

    What is that book going for? When I bought it I think I paid $12 or so. Just curious.

  3. John Janelli

    John Janelli New Member

    You're very welcome Andy. I have been working extensively under the direction of NTA board member Tommy Armstrong in making sure that we do indeed extend this personal offer to any member who joined via the web site from January 1, 2007 until the supply of books is exhausted. I am not sure when you joined but the important thing is you're an NTA member now and you're about to enjoy a very informative book on an incredible icon. Once again a big thank you goes out to our NTA web site committee for doing such a great job with it.
  4. Wildlifer,
    Sorry to not get back to you sooner. I typed in a reasonably long response a couple days ago and hit spell check, and the post imploded. 36 hours later and I finally found time to reply again.

    Your question “what would be your pick of top three books for researching the history of Taxidermy ?” doesn’t really have a good answer unless you restructure the question to specify what type of history you desire. Is it the history of development of Taxidermy in the world, is it purely America.. is it a history of evolvement of basic techniques.. a history of the growth of Habitat Groups (dioramas).. a history of important people who made contributions…..or some other avenue.

    From my perspective, the most interesting stories deal with development of the art form itself and its’ highest level the habitat diorama. The texts/journal articles I would first point out would be:

    Shufeldt, R. W. 1894. Scientific Taxidermy for Museums (Based on a Study of the United States Government Collections). From the Report of the U.S. National Museum for 1892, Pages 369?436, (with plates XV-XCVI). Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

    Lucas, F. A. 1921. The story of museum groups. American Museum of Natural History, Guide Leaflet Series, 53:1-36.

    Rowley, J. 1927. The development of museum taxidermy. Part I and Part II. Museum Graphic (Los Angeles County Museum), 1(4):121-134 and 1(5):193-206.

    Schrimpner, G. D. 1970. Taxidermy – past and present. Museum Graphic, 22(1):4-12,

    Wonders, Karen. 1993. Habitat Dioramas. Illusions of Wilderness in Museum of Natural History. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Fig. Nova Series 25, Upsala, Sweden. 263 pp.

    Andrei, Mary Anne. 2004. Breathing New Life into Stuffed Animals: the Society of American Taxidermists, 1880-1885. Collections. 1(2):149-195.

    If you wish to understand HOW taxidermy has evolved, I would suggest you get a series of basic taxidermy manuals and simply read the methods described. My suggestions of the best handful:

    (Sarah Wallis Bowditch Lee, Mrs. Robert Lee) 1820. Taxidermy: or, The Art of Collecting, Preparing, and Mounting Objects of Natural History, for the use of Museums and Travellers.
    First edition. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, London. 168 pp. + 5 Plates.

    Brown, Capt. Thomas. (1853). The Taxidermist's Manual; or the Art of Collecting, Preparing, and Preserving Objects of Natural History. Designed for the Use of Travellers, Conservators of Museums and Private Collectors. Twentieth edition, Printed unchanged from first edition in 1833. A. Fullarton & Co., London and Edinburgh. xii + 150 pp. + 6 plates.

    Hornaday, William T. 1891. Taxidermy and Zoological Collecting. A Complete Handbook for the Amateur Taxidermist, Collector, Osteologist, Museum?builder, Sportsman, and Traveller. With Chapters on Collecting and Preserving Insects by William J. Holland. First edition. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. xix + 362 pp. + 24 plates

    Davie, Oliver. 1894. Methods in the Art of Taxidermy. Subscription edition. Published by author, Columbus, Ohio. xiv + 150 pp. + vii + xiii + 89 plates.

    Rowley, John. 1925. Taxidermy and Museum Exhibition. D. Appleton and Company, New York. xvi + 331 pp. + 30 plates.

    For an odd read try

    Asma, Stephen T. 2001. Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads. The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums. Oxford University Press, Oxford, England. xv + 302 pp.
  5. Wayne R

    Wayne R NRA and B&C Life Member

    I did find my Lessons in Taxidermy Manual if you can call it that, and the diploma says 1981 but I can't find the number that some of you say you have. The oldest books I have are by Leon Pray one is titled Taxidermy, copyrighted 1943, and printed in 1967. The other is a pamphlet called the Pheasant Mounting Book, which has a 1956 date in it.
  6. Grafton

    Grafton New Member

    A few other great books of interest regarding museum taxidermy, African Hall etc.. are:

    Trails of the Hunted, James L. Clark
    Good Hunting, James L. Clark
    My Way of Becoming a Hunter, Robert H. Rockwell
    Frontiers of Enchantment, William R. Leigh
  7. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    OK you youngsters..lol I also have a hardbound second edition of PRACTICAL TAXIDERMY with a "gold" Peregrin Falcon on the cover. Has a blue stamp on the inside of the cover that says,Matthews & Brooke Booksellers, Bradford & Leeds. Since I found the complete set of lesson books of Northwestern Taxidermy on the side of the road while on a monthly paper drive for our Scout Troop I never registered or sent in any lessons or got a diploma. But I do remember those guys in the Geico commercials who were my early competition.They used DP like George Roof...lol. I was 14 when I found those books (71 now) and studied every word and tried and tried until I finally mounted something that looked alive, but hurt badly.AHHH...the memories.