The Bioscience Library rare book collection consists of some 3500 titles and approximately 7000 volumes. There are an additional 400 or so titles and about 1400 volumes from this collection that are stored in NRLF. The on campus collection consists of material selected by faculty and the Bioscience staff as materials that need to be available to researchers using the Bioscience Library collection. This includes many materials that include botanical, zoological, and paleontological systematics but also historically important 18th century authors such as Buffon, Lamarck, John Ray, and Linne.
The most important rare book collections include Darwin, The Challenger Expedition reports, 19th c German and French physiology, California forestry and agriculture publications, and the Holl Cookbook Collection. There is also a major forestry photography collection, but next to none of it is housed in the rare book room.
Some of the unique collections are:
The Darwin collection. We have what seems to be the most complete collection of all the editions of all the books that were published during Darwin's life. We have all 17 volumes of the British and American editions of "The Origin..." (QH365.O7). There is not currently any other library in the world that can say this.
We also own first or early editions of Darwin's books published in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Danish (!), and probably more. All of these translations are now in NRLF. The Darwin collection also includes first editions of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin's works (all now in the Bancroft), and such rarities as the selection of Darwin's letters that Prof Henslow published in 1838 for the Cambridge Philosophical Society, not to mention a book written on mucus by his namesake uncle published posthumously after the uncle died of blood poisoning from cutting himself during an autopsy at the University of Edinborough. We also own a letter written by Darwin as well as one written by his wife, Emma. QH31.D2 has an interesting collection of Darwinia, including correspondence between Kofoid and Darwin's British publisher, John Murray.
BIOS also has an essentially complete collection of works by Linne that is duplicated in the Bancroft.
The author/title catalog drawers from the old Biology Library catalog for both these authors are kept at the Ref Desk, as finding our complete holdings for either is very difficult using the online catalogs.
The collection includes strong holdings in French and German 19th c physiology, 19th c botany and zoology, and scientific expeditions (e.g. the complete reports from the Challenger expedition, the zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Sulphur, various US geographical surveys, etc.).
Kofoid Pamphlet Collection
The pamphlet collection consists of some 70,000 pamphlets and reprints that Kofoid acquired during his 40-some years as a zoology professor at Berkeley. Some of the earliest materials date back to the 18th century, and many are from the 19th century. The most recent materials are probably from the late 1930s or early 1940s. One of the very few scholars who used the collection informed me that it included materials that she had been trying to find for many years. (She was a professor of the history of science and was in Berkeley for a conference some time in the early 1980s. Prof Larsen of the Scandinavian Dept introduced her to me.)
The collection also includes the reprint and pamphlet collections of Sir Arthur Shipley and William Setchell. The former was a noted British zoologist who died in 1928; the latter a UCB botany professor whose major research was on algae and who died in 1943. It is unclear how these two collections were added to the Kofoid pamphlet collection, although it is certain that Kofoid knew both. The Shipley collection materials date from 1833 to 1912, the Setchell from 1890 to 1935.
The call numbers for the Shipley and Setchell collections are QL3.S5 and QK564.5.S4. The Setchell materials are mostly in the University Herbaria Library; the Kofoid and Shipley mostly in NRLF. A few of the rarest materials are in Locked Case 1. The Kofoid call numbers are: QH301.A1P5 (inlcudes some Setchell), QH301.A1P6, QL366.A1P2, and QL757.A1P26.
These titles were selected to show the breadth of the collection. It is a somewhat arbitrary selection that was done for some Paleo graduate students in April 2007.
k-QH365.D7. First edition of Origin of the Species. One of 1250 copies (BANC also has one).
k-F2636.F56 v.3. Researches in Geology and Natural History, Darwin's volume of the Voyage of the Beagle. It was very popular and later republished as Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology (QH11.D3).
fQL5.D3 v.3. Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle. Darwin supervised these volumes, v.3 is on birds with descriptions and illustrations by John Gould ('the English Audubon').
QH365.E95. Extracts of Darwin's letters to Prof. Henslow. Not of scientific interest but extremely rare. (5 copies listed in OCLC.)
k-QH31.D22.A5. Letter by Emma Darwin.
QH365.D251. Letter by Charles Darwin.
TX719.L52 1711 Le menage des champs, et le jardinier francois accomodezau gout du temps ... Liger, Louis. A quite arbirary choice to show off the Holl Collection of Cookery. I almost chose the two-volume by Careme, but it's not in great shape.
k-R128.7.H18 Haller, Albrecht von, 1708-1777. Alberti v. Haller ... Opera minora emendata, aucta, et renovata ... I chose this to represent our impressive holdings in physiology and our lesser medicine collection. Haller was also known for his botanical work. (I did not show this in my April demo.)
fQL368.R2.H3 (one of the atlas volumes) Haeckel, Ernst Heinrich Philipp August, 1834-1919. Die Radiolarien (Rhizopoda radiaria) : eine Monographie. Haekel's illustrations are among the impressive of the 19th c. He was also the most devoted of Darwin's German followers, even to the point of drawing what he didn't see (although I don't think that true of this volume).
SB403.F5 Flore des serres et des Jardins de l'Europe, Annales Generales d'Horticulture. Almost any volume will do. I chose this title both because of the gorgeous hand-painted plates and because hort magazines like this were offering the first detailed descriptions of foreign plants. Curtis's Botanical Magazine (QK1.C8 LC 1) also offers great botanical illustrations. The earlier volumes of both offer the most impressive.
fSD536.H55 1957 Hough, Romeyn Beck, 1857-1924. Hough's encyclopaedia of American woods / by E. S. Harrar 1st ed, New York : R. Speller, 1957. I chose this to represent our forestry collections. I included the publisher because of the intersting history of the work. This is actually a 2nd edition. All 16 volumes of the wood samples were done but only the first 9 volumes of the accompanying text. Around 2003, I took a call asking if we'd be interested in the text for the rest of the volumes. It took a while to realize that I was talking to R. Speller himself. He was, if I remember correctly, 93 at the time.
fQE905.U57 Unger, F. (Franz), 1800-1870. Chloris protogaea. Beitrage zur flora der vorwelt, von F. Unger...1847. A random choice to represent the paleo collections, chosen mostly because of the quality of the plates.
fQK98.M64 flat Candolle, Alphonse de, 1806-1893. Calques des dessins de la flore du Mexique, de Mocino et Sesse qui ont servi de types d'especes dans le systema ou le prodromus. [Geneva, 1874] The rarest item we own. There are two copies in Mexico City and no others in N. America. (There used to be a book in Refe, bound in green, that describes this work.)
SB407.L66 1864 Lowe, E. J. (Edward Joseph), 1825-1900. Beautiful leaved plants : being a description of the most beautiful leaved plants in cultivation in this country1868. Chosen not only because of the lovely plates, but also because our copy comes from Charles Dickens's library (bookplate inside front cover).
QE710.C9 1834 Cuvier, Georges, baron, 1769-1832. Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles, ou l'on retablit les caracteres de plusieurs animaux dont les revolutions du... 4. ed. 1834-36. I think I chose v.1 of the text and v.1 of the atlas. More paleo but chosen more for the fact that it's Cuvier, who in this work was the first to document the extintion of species.
k-QH45.B8 Buffon Histoire naturelle, generale et particuliere : avec la description du Cabinet du roy. Paris : De l'Imprimerie royale, 1749. The first systematic natural history encyclopedia. The scattered annotations in v.1 are by Buffon himself (per Prof. Larson). BIOS used to have a 2nd copy of this (with the same annotations in another hand) that is now at BANC.
QK91.S7 1762 Linne, Carl von, 1707-1778. Caroli Linnae. Species plantarum, exhibentes plantas rite cognitas,ad genera relatas, cum... Editio secunda, aucta. 1762-1963. An arbitrary selection of a work by Linnaeus. BIOS has a nearly complete collection of his works (as does BANC).
QL463.R4 Reaumur, Rene-Antoine Ferchault de, 1683-1757. Memoires pour servir a l'histoire des insectes -1955. An example of our entomology collection. This was probably the most important 18th c work on insects. It includes the first proof that corals are animals, not plants (the term insect had a broader meaning then). His work on bees in these volumes may be the most important before that of Karl von Frisch. Reaumur also made major contributions to technology, math, and physiology.
k-QL805.C99 Cuvier, Georges, baron, 1769-1832. Lecons d'anatomie comparee de G. Cuvier. an VIII -an XIV.--1805. More physiology, this time to remind people that the next time they're in Paris, they should stop by the Musee d'Anatomie Comparee (in the Jardin des Plantes) and check out the very bones that are illustrated in this work. (And also to remind them that it was his work in comparative anatomy that allowed Cuvier to understand extinctions and the great age of the Earth--see his work above.)
QK617.S5 Mushrooms in their natural haibitats. Spectacular Technicolor 3-D images of mushrooms.