Author(s): Judith Magee
The Library of the Natural History Museum contains one of the most exciting and comprehensive collections of natural history literature and artworks to be found anywhere in the world. It holds over half a million artworks, comprising one of Britain's biggest art collections and representing all the great natural history artists, and many thousands of books, including some richly illustrated volumes of great historical significance. Rare Treasures is a stunningly illustrated book which features a special selection of some of its most highly prized books, chosen for their scientific and artistic merit. For each book there is an essay by a Museum expert, explaining the role it played in the development of natural history...Accompanying the guide are 36 visually appealing colour prints, reproduced directly from the books and printed on the highest quality paper. Books featured include the oldest book in the Library, the 1469 edition of Pliny the Elder's Historia Naturalis; Albertus Seba's striking Locupletissimi Rerum published from 1734; Mark Catesby's The History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, the first published account of the flora and fauna of this area, and the stunning line drawings from Napoleon's expedition to Egypt in 1798.
The authors, Museum scientists and librarians, each write on their particular area of specialist knowledge and the overall editor, Judith Magee, has managed the art collections of the Library of the Natural History Museum, London, for over 10 years. She is the author of Art of Nature and The Art and Science of William Bartram and has contributed to several other books including Plant Discoveries: A Botanist's Voyage Through Plant Exploration and The Great Naturalists.