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Tonight sees the Museum's Night Safari Halloween Special where Lisa Di Tommaso, our Earth Sciences Assistant Librarian, will be offering up some of the Library's more spooky, mythical and Halloween-related holdings. Below are a selection of our weird and wonderful wonders!



Mythical monsters of the two and four-legged variety from Ulyssis Aldrovandi's Monstorium historia (1642).











A p-terrifying Pterosaur by Neave Parker (1910-1961)



Actaea pachypoda (also known as Doll's eyes

A not so scary orchid by William King (fl.1760s)

or White Baneberry) by William King (fl.1760s)



Ghosts of the fungal variety? Lycoperdon colifornize

by Mary Turner (c.1800)

A black raven from John Gould's Introduction to the

Birds of Great Britain (1862)


The Library catalogue is available online at

If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment or 020 7942 5460



Anthropology / Palaeontology


Systematic list of fossil decapod crustacean species/Carrie E. Schweitzer, Rodney M. Feldmann, Alessandro Garassino, Hiroaki Karasawa, Gunter Schweigert

Leiden, Koninklijke Brill NV, 2010

30 o SYS

The artist and the scientist: bringing prehistory to life/ Peter Trusler, Patricia Vickers-Rich, Thomas H. Rich

Cambridge, University Press 2010

96 q TRU

The Neolithic-Bronze age transition in Britain: a critical review of some archaeological and craniological concepts/ Neil Brodie, Hadrian Books, 1994

3 q BRO





Arboles del mundo Maya / María Peña-Chocarro & Sandra Knapp


635.97(79P9) PEN


Flora of south central Rajasthan / B.L. Yadav, K.L. Meena.

Jodhpur : Scientific Publishers (India), 2011.

581.9(54) YAD


Botany and history entwined : Rachel Hunt's legacy : catalogue of an exhibition 16 September-15 December 2011 / Charlotte A. Tancin ... [et al.]

Pittsburgh, Pa. : Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, 2011.



Vegetace *Ceské republiky. 1, Travinná a ke*rí*cková vegetace = Vegetation of the Czech Republic. 1, Grassland and heathland vegetation / Milan Chytrý (editor).

Praha : Academia, 2010.

EURO HERB 581.9(437) CHY


Centro Studi Erbario Tropicale, Università di Firenze : storia, collezioni botaniche, attività, pubblicazioni, regolamento = Tropical Herbarium Studies Centre, University of Florence : history, botanical collections, activities, publications, regulations / [a cura di Mauro Raffaelli, Marcello Tardelli].

Firenze : Centro, 2006.

58.005 FLO RAF


The types of the tropical Herbarium of Florence. Vol. 2, Dicolyledons ('Pipiraceae' to 'Euphorbiaceae') = I tipi dell'erbario tropicale di Firenze. Vol. 2 Dicotiledoni ('Pipiraceae' to 'Euphorbiaceae') / L. Settesoldi, M. Tardelli, M. Raffaelli.

Firenze : Centro studi erbario tropicale - Universita degli studi di Firenze, 2004.

58.005 FIR TAR Q






Distribution atlas of butterflies in Europe / Kudrna, Otakar

Halle : Gesellschaft für Schmetterlingsschutz, 2011



Terrestrial Arthropods of Macaronesia : Biodiversity, ecology, and evolution / Serrano, Artur Raposo Moniz

[Lisboa] : [Sociedade Portuguesa de Entomologia] 2010

78 o SER




Phylogenetics : the theory of phylogenetic systematics / E.O. Wiley, Bruce S. Lieberman.

Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley-Blackwell, c2011. (2nd edition)

L 15 o WIL


The Marches / Andrew Allott

London : Collins , 2011

L 72Aa o ALL


The tropics and the traveling gaze : India, landscape, and science, 1800-1856 / David Arnold.

Seattle : University of Washington Press, c2006.

L 73F o ARN


Evaluation : methods for studying programs and policies / Carol H. Weiss

Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice Hall, c1998.

L 98 o WEI


As affecting the fate of my absent husband : selected letters of Lady Franklin concerning the search for the lost Franklin expedition, 1848-1860 / edited, with an introduction and notes, by Erika Behrisch Elce.

Montreal ; Ithaca, N.Y. : McGill-Queen's University Press, c2009.

L 96A o FRA






Heat generation and transport in the earth / Claude Jaupart, Jean-Claude Mareschal

Cambridge, University Press, 2011

550.36 JAU



Ornithology (Tring)



The Echalaz bird collection / Adrian Sailor.

Ascot : MPM Publishing, 2007.

ORNITHOLOGY 96A ECH                    


The evolution of Darwin's finches, mockingbirds and flies / by Peter and Rosemary Grant.

Firenze : L.S. Olschki, 2010.

ORNITHOLOGY 18(13) GRA                   


Ghost birds : Jim Tanner and the quest for the ivory-billed woodpecker, 1935-1941 / Stephen Lyn Bales ; foreword by Nancy Tanner.

Knoxville : University of Tennessee Press, c2010.

ORNITHOLOGY 96A BAL                      


Der Haubentaucher : Podiceps cristatus / Manfred Melde.

Magdeburg : Westarp-Wiss. ; Heidelberg ; Berlin ; Oxford : Spektrum, Akad. Verl., 1995.

ORNITHOLOGY 18(1) MEL                     


Northwest Forest Plan, the first 15 years (1994-2008) : status and trend of nesting habitat for the marbled murrelet / Martin G. Raphael ... [et al.].

Portland, OR : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, [2011]

ORNITHOLOGY 18(2C) RAP                    


Spatial distribution and habitat preferences of the House Sparrow, Passer domesticus in urbanised landscapes. Authors: Lorna M. Shaw, Dan Chamberlain, Greg Conway & Mike Toms

Thetford : British Trust for Ornithology, 2011.

ORNITHOLOGY S 103 M                      


Falcons of North America / Kate Davis ; photographs by Rob Palmer and Nick Dunlop.

Missoula, Mont. : Mountain Press Pub. Co., 2008.

ORNITHOLOGY 75 DAV                        


The Kittiwake / by John C. Coulson ; ill. by Robert Greenhalf.

London : Poyser, 2011.

ORNITHOLOGY 18(2) COU                     


Raptors of New Mexico / edited by Jean-Luc E. Cartron ; [with the photography of Robert Schantz ... [et al.] ; species distribution maps by David Dean].

Albuquerque [N.M.] : University of New Mexico Press, 2010.

ORNITHOLOGY 75C/32 CAR                    


The wilderness warrior : Theodore Roosevelt and the crusade for America / Douglas Brinkley.

New York, N.Y. : HarperCollins, 2009.





New Zealand inventory of biodiversity.  Volume two, Kingdom Animalia: Chaetognatha, Ecdysozoa, Ichnofossils  / Edited by Dennis P. Gordon.

Christchurch : Canterbury University Press, 2010

Z 77D q NEW


A field guide to coastal fishes : from Maine to Texas / Val Kells and Kent Carpenter.

Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.



Atlas malacològic del Delta de l'Ebre [Texte imprimé] : catàleg dels molluscs de la franja deltaica compresa entre L'Ampolla i les Cases d'Alcanar / Joan Brunet Navarro & Miquel Capdevila.

Sant Carles de la Ràpita : J. Brunet Navarro, 2005.



Guide des coquillages de France : Atlantique et Manche / Cédric Audibert, Jean-Louis Delemarre.

Paris : Belin, 2009.



Malacologia mediterranea : atlante delle conchiglie del Mediterraneo : 7500 foto a colori / Tiziano Cossignani, Roberto Ardovini ; con la collaborazione di Alberto Cecalupo ... [et al.].

Ancona : L'informatore Piceno, 2011.







There are numerous items in the Library & Archives collection that make me wish I could go back in time, and this great piece of printed ephemera is definitely one of them.


This is the front page of a letter written in 1899 to the Hon. Lionel Walter Rothschild (later Lord Rothschild) by Charles Harte, Impressario to Mademoiselle Paula.


It is a wonderful piece of advertising and enterainment history, and you can not help but become curious as to who Mdlle Paula was!


The letter is addressed from the Royal Aquarium, Westminster. This was built in 1876, located opposite Westminster Abbey, but demolished in the early 1900s to make way for the Methodist's Central Hall. As well as a theatre, art gallery, reading and smoking rooms, the building included a main hall featuring; palm trees, sculptures, tanks of curious sea creatures and an orchestra.








                         (Image reference number 035572)


Looking through newspapers of the time, Paula performed at a number of locations around the British Isles 1890-1899, but the longer stints were spent on the bill at the Royal Aquarium.


Her performance is put in context when you look at the other acts listed on the bill alongside her during October 1890: Roches pack of fourteen wolves, the smallest monkey parachutist in the world, Professor Maxey the needle eater, Sol Stone the Great American calculator, and the Brothers Dunbar and their astonishing aerial act.


In the Pall Mall Gazette, on 29th January 1891, the following appeared advertising Paula's next show: '....with her fierce alligators, who was bitten last Saturday, hopes to reappear to-morrow [sic]'. Clearly a shrewd marketing ploy by her manager!


Later in January 1899, in 'The Standard' she is promoted as 'Paula Queen reptile conqueror of the world, subduing snakes, crocodiles and alligators'.                   


In the letter held in the Archives collection here at the Natural History Museum, Charles Harte, 'Impresario acting for Mdlle Paula, the famous reptile conqueror’ offers a living fifteen foot rare snake. He wishes to dispose of this ‘serpent’ in order to make more room for his Indian pythons, ‘more suitable for handling in Mdlle Paula’s performance’ and wonders whether Rothschild would like to add it to his collection.


It is amazing how one short letter can lead to such an interesting part of history.


For more information the Library & Archives collections and how to visit us, please go to Library & Archives.

Preparations are now well underway for the new Australian theme for the Images of Nature Gallery to open in February 2012.
The original artwork from the Museum Library’s collection that will feature in the gallery was created by those who travelled on board the First Fleet’s ships that sailed to Australia in May 1787, amongst them were seamen and convicts.
These fascinating drawings represent some of the first recorded images of the then unexplored continent.
Seeing the strange new landscapes, peoples, plants and animals through their eyes is a fascinating experience.
To celebrate the new year for the Gallery and the change of the theme, Australian artist Daniel Boyd has created a unique piece that will commemorate the event and the display of such a rare collection of historical artwork:
Sept 024.jpg
Daniel Boyd (left) and staff from the Gasworks Art Gallery, preparing Daniel's art installation to be taken to the Natural History Museum last week
Daniel is a well known young artist, his work raises questions about established notions of the history of Australia and celebrates with gentle irony the expeditions of scientist, sailors and colonizers who opened up the knowledge of the new land to the Europe of the Enlightenment period.
The watercolours in the Gallery rotate every 3 moths within the year, to protect the vibrant and amazing pigments and to give the public an opportunity to see more of our wonderful artwork collections.
2011 was the year of  China, the East India Company and the John Reeves's collection of stunning Zoological and Botanical Chinese watercolours, you still have a chance to catch them until January 2012.

The Library catalogue is available online at

If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment or 020 7942 5460




Guide to the flowers of western China / Christopher Grey-Wilson & Phillip Cribb ; edited by Victoria Matthews.

Richmond, Surrey : Kew Publishing, 2011.

581.9(51) GRE

Flora of the Guianas. Series C, Bryophytes : Fascicle 2 : Musci IV / J. Florschutz-de Waard with H. R. Zielman, M. A. Bruggeman-Nannega.

Kew : Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2011.


Flower and fruit : morphology, ontogeny, phylogeny, function and ecology / by Peter Leins and Claudia Erbar.

Stuttgart : Schweizerbart, 2010.

581.46 LEI

Plants of deep south Texas : a field guide to the woody and flowering species / Alfred Richardson and Ken King.

College Station : Texas A&M University Press, 2011.

581.9(764) RIC

Tropical African flowering plants : ecology and distribution. Volume 6, Burseraceae - Apiaceae and Addendum to volumes 1-5 (Families A-C) / Jean-Pierre Lebrun, Adélaïde L. Stork.

Geneve : Éditions des Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques, 2011.

581.9(6) LEB Q

Conservation des plantes vasculaires du canton de Geneve : especes et sites prioritaires / C. Lambelet-Haueter, C. Schneider et B. von Arx.

Genève : Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de Genève, 2011.






Checklisten der Fauna Österreichs. No.5, Diplura (Insecta), Symphyta (Insecta), Auchenorrhynca (Insecta) / Christian, Erhard

Vienna : Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften ; 2011

72M o CHE

Chrysalis : Maria Sibylla Merian and the secrets of metamorphosis / Todd, Kim

London ; New York : I. B. Tauris, 2007

96 o MER

Evoliutsiia, filogenez, sistema tleÄ­ semeÄ­stva liakhnid : Homoptera, Aphidoidea, Lachnidae / Mamontova, Vera Alekseevna

[Evolution, phylogenesis and system of aphids of the lachnid family : Homoptera, Aphidoidea, Lachnidae]

Kiev : Naukova Dumka, 2008



The Pentatomoidea (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) of Sub-Saharan Africa : a database / Robertson, Ian A. D.

Malindi, Kenya : I.A.D. Robertson, 2009


A guide to Camponotus ants of South Australia / McArthur, Archie

Adelaide : South Australian Museum, 2010


Clé de détermination des exuvies des odonates de France / Doucet, Guillaume

Bois-d'Arcy : Société Française d'Odonatologie, 2010




Saving the world's wildlife : WWF-the first 50 years / Alexis Schwarzenbach.

London : Profile Books, 2011.

L 65B o SCH

Wild Hampshire & Isle of Wight / written by Clive Chatters ; picture editing by Abi Jarvis.

Wellington, Somerset [England] : Halsgrove, 2010

L 72Aa o CHA

The death and life of Monterey Bay : a story of revival / Stephen R. Palumbi and Carolyn Sotka.

Washington, D.C. : Island Press, c2011.

L 75C o PAL

Museums at play : games, interaction and learning / edited by Katy Beale

Edinburgh : MuseumsEtc, 2011.

L 84 o MUS





The metasomatic secondary quartzite formation in Bulgaria / Ivan Velinov, Angel Kunov, Nadezhda Velinova.

Sofia : Drinov Acad. Publ. House, 2007.

(497.2) VEL

Agates from PÅ‚óczki Górne, Lower Silesia, Poland / Tomasz Praszkier, Jacek BogdaÅ„ski, RafaÅ‚ Siuda

Warszawa : Spirifer Geological Society, 2011.

553.828(438) PRA



Ornithology (Tring)


The breeding birds of North-East Scotland : An atlas of the breeding birds of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray including part of the Cairngorms National Park / Edited by Ian Francis and Martin Cook. Photographic editor Harry Scott.

Aberdeen : Scottish Ornithologists' Club, 2011.



Feathers : the evolution of a natural miracle / Thor Hanson.

New York : Basic Books, c2011.



Seabird islands : ecology, invasion, and restoration / edited by Christa P.H. Mulder ... [et al.].

New York : Oxford University Press, c2011.

ORNITHOLOGY 18(Seabirds) MUL   


Wildlife Conservation Society birds of Brazil / WCS project director, John A. Gwynne ; senior author, Robert S. Ridgely.

Ithaca : Comstock Pub. Associates, 2010-





International thylacine specimen database [electronic resource] / Stephen Sleightholme, author ; Nicholas Ayliffe, principal photographer. (DVD)

Westbury: International Thylacine Specimen Database Project, 2011.


Focus on felids / edited by David Macdonald and Dawn Burnham

Oxford: WildCRU, 2011


Amphibians in captivity / Marc Staniszewski.

[Neptune City] : T.F.H., 1995


The amphibians and reptiles of Greece / Efstratios D. Valakos ... [et al.].

Frankfurt am Main : Edition Chimaira, 2008.




The Library catalogue is available online at

If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment or 020 7942 5460




Plants of the Klein Karoo / Jan Vlok, Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.

Hatfield, South Africa : Umdaus Press, 2010.

581.9(68) VLO


Field guide to the orchids of northern South Africa and Swaziland / Douglas McMurtry ... [et al.] ; foreword by Graham Williamson ; paintings by Wilna Layden.

Hatfield, South Africa : Umdaus Press, 2008.

581.9(68) MCM


Ferns and fern allies of Taiwan / Ralf Knapp.

Gaoshu Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan : KBCC Press ; Taipei : Yuan-Liou Pub., 2011.

FERNS 582.35(51) KNA


The Iris family : natural history & classification / Peter Goldblatt, John C. Manning.

Portland : Timber Press, 2008.

582.4P173 GOL Q


The Government House florilegium / The Botanical Art School of Melbourne ; paintings coordinated by Jenny Phillips.

Middle Park, Vic. : Lothian Custom Publishing, 2010.

7.043 GOV Q


Atlas de la flore du canton de Genève : catalogue analytique et distribution de la flore spontanée / J.-P. Theurillat, C. Schneider, C. Latour ; rédacteur: D. Jeanmonod.

[Genève] : Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques, Ville de Genève : Société Botanique de Genève, 2011.





Darwin's finches : readings in the evolution of a scientific paradigm / edited, with commentary, by Kathleen Donohue.

Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2011.

L 9G o DAR


Biodiversity in southern Africa / Norbert Jürgens, Ute Schmiedel and M. Timm Hoffman [overall editors].

Vol. 1. Patterns at local scale: the BIOTA Observatories

Vol. 2. Patterns & processes at regional scale.

Vol. 3. Implications for landuse and management.

Göttingen : Klaus Hess, 2010.

L 74G q BIO

The natural history of Santo / edited by Philippe Bouchet, Hervé Le Guyader, & Olivier Pascal.

Paris : Publications scientifiques du Muséum national d'histoire naturelle ; Marseille : IRD  : Pro-Natura international, 2011

L 77Bb q NAT





Coastal plankton : photo guide for European seas / Otto Larink & Wilfried.

München : Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, 2011

Z 49 o LAR

Bats : from evolution to conservation / John D. Altringham ; drawings by Tom McOwat and Lucy Hammond.

Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2011.


<Lissemys punctata> : the Indian flap-shelled turtle / Dieter Gramentz

Frankfurt : Ed. Chimaira, 2011.