Historia Naturalis Brasiliae copy census: final call (Updated)

Historia Naturalis Brasiliae is the first scientific work on the natural history of Brasil, published in 1648. It was the authoritative text on the subject for one-and-a-half century. Now we are trying to locate every remaining copy of the book worldwide. So far we have found approximately 250 copies. Who has got one more?

When Johan Maurits was appointed governor of Dutch Brazil in 1636, he soon commissioned a number of scientists and artists to explore and capture the geography and natural history of the colony. Among the scientists that took part in the expedition were German naturalist Georg Marcgrave (1610-1644) and the Dutch physician Willem Piso (1611-1678). Their findings would later be edited by Johannes de Laet and published as Historia Naturalis Brasiliae in 1648.

Title-page HNB
Title-page of one of the colored copies of Historia Naturalis Brasiliae

The ‘HNB‘ has had a huge impact on the knowledge about tropical flora and fauna, the perception of Brazil and natural history in general. It influenced and inspired naturalists such as Ole Worm, Maria Sibylla Merian and Carl Linnaeus and remained the principle text on Northeastern South America until the 19th century. Even though the book has been studied from various angles, we know very little about the material history of the book. There are no reliable estimates of the print run. Furthermore, we assume that the book was disseminated over Europe instantly, but in fact information about the early owners is scarce. Finally, the trajectory of the books in the following centuries can tell us a lot about changing cultural and scientific perspectives.

Copy census
The copy census is a unique method to understand the history of books as a social and cultural phenomenon. It locates copies, maps the paths of specific copies through time, and may help to explain how ideas were transmitted through print. So far, we have located approximately 250 copies of HNB worldwide and collected data on the shelf marks, collection histories, coloring, provenances, marginalia, bindings, decorations and other forms of material evidence of most of these copies.

We are now in the final month before our census will be published. Obviously, we would be delighted with any last minute additions to the list. If your library holds a copy and you have not yet been in touch with us (Alex Alsemgeest and Jeroen Bos), or if you have more detailed information than you could provide us before, please let us know. Not only will this be very helpful to us, it assures that your copy will be included in a list that will hopefully serve researchers of the HNB for some time to come.

The list
We do not want to give away all of our research in a blog post, obviously, so below you will find only a concise list of all copies. Please contact me for more details if you are interested in the information we have on the copy in your library. Just to give an example of what a full record looks like:

Haarlem, Teyler’s Museum
Copy 1: Shelf mark: 5G 5. Binding: Contemporary brown leather, panel design with blind tooling on front cover, spine with 5 raised bands. Coloration: Black-and-white. Complete: Yes. Provenance: Library stamp: Bibliothèque Musée Teyler Harlem.
Copy 2: Shelf mark: 113 AB21300. Binding: Eighteenth century green morocco, rebacked gilt decorated spine with floral motifs and six raised bands, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Coloration: Black-and-white. Complete: Yes. Provenance: Bookplate: Ex Bibliotheca Com: Thomae Cajetani de Węgry Węgierski [Tomasz Kajetan Węgierski] (1756-1787 | Polish poet). Booksellers’ plate: Rey et Gravier, quai des Augustins, no. 55, Paris. Manuscript annotation: Dr. Walter Channing, April 11, 1840 (1786-1876 | American physician and professor of medicine; sent as a gift to Amos Binney, includes a two page handwritten letter to accompany the donation. Manuscript annotation: Amos Binney (1803-1847 | American physician and malacologist). Bookplate: Boston Society of Natural History, from the library of Dr. Amos Binney, deposited by mrs. M.A. Binney. Manuscript annotation: Col. Büch. Acquired by Boudewijn Büch (1948-2002 | Dutch author and book collector) from Kistner and Ackerman (Nürnberg/München | Antiquarian bookdealers) in January 1993.

Update 14/06/2018: Several new copies could be added to the census, and many more could be updated thanks to the help of Marieke van Delft of the National Library of the Netherlands, CERL and many specialists and curators around the world who responded to our call. In the list below, recent additions are preceded by an asterisk. Furthermore, it has been pointed out that the copies of the colleges at Cambridge and Oxford should be listed separately and not placed under the heading of the university libraries. We will correct that in the final version.

Update 10/07/2018: A double call by Liesbeth Missel of Wageningen University & Research Library at the European Botanical and Horticultural Libraries group and the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries resulted in a handful copies from Scotland, Germany and the United States that were not yet recorded.

Sydney, State Library of New South Wales (2 copies)

Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (2 copies)
* Vienna, Universitätsbibliothek

Antwerp, Museum Plantin Moretus
Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België/Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (2 copies)
Ghent, Universiteitsbibliotheek (2 copies)
Liège, Bibliothèque Universitaire
*Meise, Botanic Garden Meise

Belo Horizonte, Biblioteca da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, UFMG
Brasília, Biblioteca Central da Universidade de Brasília, UnB
Campinas, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Unicamp (2 copies)
Rio de Janeiro, Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil (5 copies)
Rio de Janeiro, Biblioteca do Museu Nacional, UFRJ (3 copies)
Rio de Janeiro, Fundação Fiocruz – Biblioteca de Manguinhos
Salvador, Universidade Federal da Bahia (2 copies)
São Paulo, Biblioteca Mario de Andrade (2 copies)
São Paulo, Instituto Itaú Cultural
São Paulo, Universidade de São Paulo (2 copies)

Montréal, McGill University Library
Montréal, Université du Québec
Québec, Bibliothèque de l’Université Laval

Czech Republic
Prague, Národní knihovna České republiky (2 copies)

Copenhagen, Royal Danish Library (*2 copies)

Helsinki, National Library

* Aix-en-Provence, Bibliothèque Méjanes
* Avignon, Bibliothèque Municipale
* Besançon, Bibliothèque Municipale
* Boulogne-sur-Mer, Bibliothèque Municipale
* Carpentras, Bibliothèque Inguimbertine
* Chalon-sur-Saône, Bibliothèque Municipale
* Dijon, Bibliothèque Municipale
* Grenoble, Bibliothèque d’Etude et du Patrimoine
* Le Mans, Médiathèque Louis Aragon
Lyon, Bibliothèque Municipale (2 copies)
* Marseille, Bibliothèque Municipale à Vocation Régionale (2 copies)
* Nancy, Bibliothèque Stanislas
* Nantes, Bibliothèque Municipale (2 copies)
* Nice, Bibliothèque Patrimoniale et d’étude Romain Gary
Paris, Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Santé (2 copies)
Paris, Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de la Sorbonne
Paris, Bibliothèque Mazarine
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale (5 copies)
Paris, Collège France, Bibliothèque Générale
Paris, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers
Paris, Institut de France
Paris, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (2 copies)
* Périgueux, Médiathèque Pierre Fanlac
* Rennes, Les Champs Libres
* Rochefort, Bibliothèque de Rochefort Musée national de la Marine
Strasbourg, Bibliothèques Universitaires de Strasbourg

Augsburg, Staats- und Stadtbibliothek
Bad Arolsen, Fürstlich Waldeckschen Hofbibliothek Arolsen
Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek (3 copies)
Bonn, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek (2 copies)
Erlangen, Universitätsbibliothek Erlangen-Nürnberg
*Frankfurt am Main, Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Freiberg, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Universitätsbibliothek
Göttingen, Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek
Halle, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt
Hannover, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek
Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek
Jena, Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek (3 copies)
Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek
Mannheim, Universitätsbibliothek
Müncheberg, Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut
Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Munich, Bibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (2 copies)
Oldenburg, Landesbibliothek
Rostock, Universitätsbibliothek
Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek
Tübingen, Universitätsbibliothek (2 copies)
Weimar, Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek (2 copies)
Wolfenbüttel, Herzog-August-Bibliothek

* Kalocsa, Főszékesegyházi Könyvtár (Not confirmed!)

Dublin, National Library of Ireland
* Dublin, Trinity College Library

Bassano del Grappa, Biblioteca civica
Bologna, Biblioteca comunale dell’Archiginnasio
Bologna, Università di Bologna (2 copies)
Catania, Biblioteca Regionale Universitaria
Faenza, Biblioteca Comunale Manfrediana
* Fermo, Biblioteca Civica Romolo Spezioli
Ferrara, Biblioteca Comunale Ariostea
Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (2 copies)
Genoa, Biblioteca Universitaria di Genova
Milan, Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense
Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III (2 copies)
* Padua, Biblioteca civica
* Padua, Biblioteca Universitaria di Padova
Padua, Biblioteca dell’orto botanico Università di Padova
Pavia, Biblioteca della Scienza e della Tecnica
* Rome, Biblioteca Casanatense
Rome, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma
Rome, Biblioteca Universitaria Alessandrina
Turin, Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria
Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana
Venice, Ca’ Foscari Fondo Storico
* Venice, Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia
Vicenza, Biblioteca Civica Bertoliana

Biblioteca Nacional de México

The Netherlands
Amsterdam, Bibliotheek Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Amsterdam, Universiteitsbibliotheek
Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit
Groningen, Rijksuniversiteit
Haarlem, Teyler’s Museum (2 copies)
The Hague, Gemeentearchief
The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek
Leeuwarden, Tresoar
Leiden, Naturalis Biodiversity Center (3 copies)
Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek (4 copies)
Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek
Wageningen, Universiteitsbibliotheek

* Gdansk, Polska Akademia Nauk Biblioteka Gdańska
Kraków, Biblioteka Jagiellońska (2 copies)

Lisbon, Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (5 copies)
Coimbra, UC Biblioteca Geral (2 copies)

Moscow, Russian State Library (3 copies)
Saint Petersburg, Russian Academy of Sciences Library

Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona, CRAI Biblioteca de Reserva
Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España
* Madrid, Museo Naval
* Madrid, Real Academia de la Historia
Madrid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Biblioteca (2 copies)
Salamanca, Universidad de Salamanca (2 copies)
* Valencia, Universidad de Valencia. Biblioteca Histórica

Lund, Universitetsbiblioteket
Norrköping, Stadsbibliotek
Stockholm, Karolinska Institutet, Hagströmerbiblioteket (3 copies)
Stockholm, Kungliga Biblioteket (3 copies)
Stockholm, Universitetsbiblioteket
Uppsala, Universitetsbiblioteket (3 copies)

Basel, Universitätsbibliothek
Bern, Universitätsbibliothek
Zürich, Zentralbibliothek

United Kingdom
Aberdeen, University Library (3 copies)
Blickling, Blickling Hall National Trust Library
Cambridge, University Library (2 copies + 4 at the colleges)
*Durham, University Library
Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland
Edinburgh, University Library
*Edinburgh, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Leeds, University Library
London, British Library (4 copies)
London, Kew Gardens Library
London, The Linnean Society of London
London, Middle Temple Library
London, Natural History Museum (3 copies)
London, Royal College of Physicians (2 copies)
London, Royal Society Library
London, Wellcome Library
London, Zoological Society of London Library
Manchester, University Library
Oxford, University Library (5 copies at the Bodleian + 5 at the colleges)
Windsor, Eton College
Wroughton, Science Museum Library

United States
Baton Rouge, LA, Louisiana State University Library
Bethlehem, PA, Lehigh University Libraries
Bloomington, IN, Indiana University
Boston, Boston Public Library
Cambridge MA, Harvard Library (6 copies)
Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina
Chicago, IL, Field Museum Library
Chicago, IL, Newberry Library
Chicago, IL, University of Chicago
Cincinnati, OH, Lloyd Library and Museum
Columbia, MO, University of Missouri
Hartford, CN, Trinity College, Watkinson Library
Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Library
Kansas City, MO, Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering and Technology
Lawrence, KS, University of Kansas, Kenneth Spencer Research Library
Los Angeles, CA, Getty Research Institute
Los Angeles, CA, University of California Library (2 copies)
Madison, University of Wisconsin
Minneapolis, MN, University of Minnesota
New Haven CT, Yale University Library
New Orleans, LA, Tulane University
New York, NY, American Museum of Natural History
New York, NY, Columbia University Libraries (2 copies)
New York, NY, New York Botanical Garden
New York, NY, New York Academy of Medicine
New York, NY, Public Library (2 copies)
Notre Dame, IN, Hesburgh Library (2 copies)
Philadelphia, PA, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University Library & Archives
Philadelphia, PA, University of Pennsylvania Libraries (2 copies)
*Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Mellon University, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation
Providence, RI, John Carter Brown Library
*Providence, RI, John Hay Library
San Francisco, CA, California State Library
St. Louis, Missouri Botanical Garden Library (2 copies)
Urbana, IL, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Washington, DC, The Catholic University of America
Washington, DC, Folger Shakespeare Library
Washington, DC, Library of Congress (5 copies)
Washington, DC, Smithsonian Libraries

Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (2 copies)

Antiquarian booksellers
* Amsterdam, Antiquariaat Junk
* Berlin, Antiquariat im Hufelandhaus GmbH
* New York, Arader Galleries
* New York, Richard C. Ramer Old and Rare Books
* Paris, Librairie Camille Sourget
* West Newbury, MA, Barberry Hill Books

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