As part of our remit, the Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections mount regular exhibits in the foyer of the Berkeley Library. Generally the single case exhibit ties in with anniversaries or local events. As today is ANZAC Day, staff member Helen Beaney has displayed the third volume of John Gould’s The mammals of Australia, shelfmark: Fag. HH.3.8.
Gould used to make rough annotated sketches which were worked up to finished images by artists, including his wife up to her death in 1841, and also Edward Lear, William Hart and Henry Constantine Richter. The production of the plates for this three-volume set was spread out over eighteen years, beginning with the Goulds’ travels in Australia in 1838-40 and with new material being sent over to Gould at frequent intervals after their return home. In his preface, Gould emphasises the opportunities to discover new species through exploration of unmapped parts of the world.
He became an authority on the birds of Europe, Asia, Australia and America as well as the mammals of Australia. The beautiful illustrations are still of scientific importance and provide great aesthetic pleasure.
Celebrated every year on April 25th, ANZAC Day originally commemorated the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who died at Gallipoli during World War I and now recognises all New Zealand and Australian soldiers who have given their lives in military operations for their countries. So which of the images seen here did Helen choose to display? Why not pop along to the Berkeley Library and find out?