n493_w1150 by Biodiversity Heritage Library

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Annales de la Société royale d'agriculture et de botanique de Gand :.

Gand [etc.] :Société royale d'agriculture et de botanique,1845-1849..

It’s STILL Feathursday!

I’m a little behind on sharing lovely SciArt, but I couldn’t miss out on Feathursday! Some people think the Shoebill Stork (Balaeniceps rex) is ugly, but that’s just nonsense. This bird’s common name is a reference to the large wooden shoes that its bill resembles. This illustration is from Egyptian Birds for the most part seen in the Nile Valley (1909) by Charles Whymper. This work was contributed for digitization by the Research Library of the American Museum of Natural History (@amnhnyc) to Biodiversity Heritage Library (@biodivlibrary).


Are you shellebrating World Turtle Day? The yearly event aims to raise awareness about turtles and tortoises, along with the harmful impact human action can have on them. We have many resources on turtles, including some of the following sources of these wonderful turtle images:

1, 3: Naturgeschichte der SchildkötenFull title, D. Johann David Schöpfs königl. Preuss. hofraths … Naturgeschichte der Schildkröten : mit Abbildungen erläutert. (1792) by Johann David Schöpf. 

2.  North American herpetology. Full title, North American herpetology, or, A description of the reptiles inhabiting the United States, v.1 (1836) by John Edwards Holbrook.

4. Reptiles and birds. Full title,  Reptiles and birds. A popular account of the various orders; with a description of the habits and economy of the most interesting. (1873) by Louis Figuier. 

5. Gemeinnüzzige Naturgeschichte des Thierreichs. Full title,  Gemeinnüzzige Naturgeschichte des Thierreichs : darinn die merkwürdigsten und nüzlichsten Thiere in systematischer Ordnung beschrieben und alle Geschlechter in Abbildungen nach der Natur vorgestellet werden, bd. 4 (1788) by Georg Heinrich Borowski.

6. Thesaurus rerum naturaliumFull title, Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descriptio, et iconibus artificiosissimis expressio, per universam physices historiam : opus, cui, in hoc rerum genere, nullum par exstitit. (1734) by Albertus Seba.

More excellent scientific illustrations of turtles in the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s Flickr album, Turtles!


For those of you who take Halloween decoration to a specificity level that requires reference assistance, you can always call upon the entomological resources of the Biodiversity Heritage Library, which contains works like American Spiders and Their Spinningwork by Henry McCook (1889).

“Release the Kraken!" 

In H. P. Lovecraft’s short story "The Call of Cthulhu,” Cthulhu (a part man, part dragon, and part octopus monster) attacks a ship. The sailors try to kill the beast by ramming it repeatedly, but Cthulhu simply turns into green mist and reassembles. You can read more about the history of the Kraken on our blog, and there you’ll find many more wonderful illustrations of monsters for Page Frights!

There are only a few more days to enter your GIF in Digital Public Library of America’s 2016 GIF IT UP! competition. Check out @digitalpubliclibraryofamerica for more information, and vote for your favorites at @gifitup2016!

This GIF was created by Richard Naples of Smithsonian Libraries, and it is based on this wonderful illustration of a giant octopus from Denys Montfort’s Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière des mollusques: animaux sans vertèbres et a sang blanc, Vol. 2. (1801). This work is available in a digital copy thanks to the Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, who contributed it for digitization for Biodiversity Heritage Library


The Brain Scoop

Yo yo yoooou called into our hotline and asked questions and here are some answers! Topics mentioned in this video include:

  • parasites
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Librarians, and the Biodiversity Heritage Library
  • Clubs for girls in STEM
  • cichlids
  • Research, collections management
  • zombies

The usual. If you want to call and leave us a message, you can reach us at +1 (315) 367-2667 - aka 315-Em-Scoop!!


Spring has definitely sprung.

Flower grower’s guide (1898) d. 1 by Reverend John Wright is the source of these images of common spring flowers. Gertrude Hamilton and Marie Low are listed as the artists for the colored illustrations in Flower grower’s guide. It wasn’t uncommon for women to find work in illustration during the Victorian era, since artistic pursuits were considered acceptable for middle-class women who needed to work.

Find all six divisions of Flower grower’s guide in the Biodiversity Heritage Library, and see more natural history illustrations by women in the BHL’s extensive Flickr gallery on the subject, which contains many works from the Smithsonian Libraries.

Arabische Korallen

This week’s book feature is on Arabische Korallen by Ernst Haeckel, published in 1876 in Berlin. Written in German, this book focuses on coral from the Red Sea and life in Egypt. 

Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) was a scientist, naturalist, and illustrator whose works remain incredibly popular. His unique artistic style soon becomes easily recognizable. More to come from this lesser known work of his, which can be found in a digital version in Biodiversity Heritage Library thanks to Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.

Page Frights! – Carrion Flower

Carrion Flower (Stapelia hirsuta) for Page Frights! These blooms smell like rotten flesh, which attract flies and beetles for pollination. Dr. Robert J. Thornton called them Maggot-bearing Stapelia! Look closely to see what’s lurking around the bottom of the plant…. 

SciArt by Peter Charles Henderson for Robert John Thornton, Temple of Flora, or Garden of Nature (1807). This work was contributed by the Raven Library at Missouri Botanical Garden (@mobotgarden) to Biodiversity Heritage Library.


Hey! Working in a museum is incredible because every specimen and artifact has a story - including those that ended up on the set for our new show, Natural News from The Field Museum! So we decided to give you a tour. Check it out to learn stuff, also to see me make awkward noises and just be who I am as a person

And in case you missed it, here’s the first video from the new series! We really hope you like it. <3

Voluta Fugetrum, or for those who are not conchologists, a sea shell!

See more in this 1825 book, A catalogue of the shells contained in the collection of the late Earl of Tankerville : arranged according to the Lamarckian conchological system ; together with an appendix containing descriptions of many new species, by G. B. Sowerby. From the Ernst Mayr Library at Harvard University via the Biodiversity Heritage Library.