Article ID: CBB000931222

The States and Printing History (1861--1864) of John Henry Gurney's A Descriptive Catalogue of the Raptorial Birds in the Norfolk and Norwich Museum (2008)


The first and only part published of A descriptive catalogue of the raptorial birds in the Norfolk and Norwich Museum by John Henry Gurney (senior) is usually dated 1864. But a copy with a variant title-page dated 1861 exists, raising the question of whether there are two editions or issues. Typographical errors indicate that all copies, whatever dated, constitute a single impression from one type setting. All copies dated 1864 have a cancelled title-leaf. The copy dated 1861 is apparently unique, an accidental survival that escaped the cancellation; its title-page never appeared in commercially available copies. Printing of the whole book, on three batches of paper, was demonstrated by internal evidence to have been protracted over three years from 1861 to 1864. Therefore, there is only one edition, published in 1864, with the title-page in two states. This study demonstrates how differences between batches of printing-paper can facilitate recognition of cancelled conjugate pairs of leaves that would otherwise be undetectable unless a copy without the cancellation were found. Examination of the cloth types, spine titles, endpapers and various printed insertions, indicates that probably two different casings of the whole edition were carried out simultaneously, rather than consecutively, contrary to the usual practice of Victorian publishers. The surviving original manuscript suggests that the protracted printing resulted from indecision about some taxonomic and nomenclatural points; but complications in Gurney's private life probably also contributed. No further parts of the catalogue were published, probably because of Gurney's disastrous business problems between 1866 and 1869. The potential relevance of the book to avian nomenclature is appraised. Keywords. bibliography, cancellations, dating books, foxing, John Van Voorst, printing-paper

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Authors & Contributors
Bloch, D.
Grouw, H. Van
Johns, Adrian
Johnson, Kristin R.
Shillingsburg, Peter L.
Stenhouse, I. J.
Archives of Natural History
Journal of the History of Collections
Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan
VIET: Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki
British Journal for the History of Science
University of Chicago Press
Princeton University Press
University of Wisconsin at Madison
Carocci Editore
Princeton University
Natural history
Flamsteed, John
Newton, Isaac
Darwin, Charles Robert
Stenhouse, John Hutton
Baines, Thomas
Kulibin, Ivan Petrovich
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century
20th century, early
16th century
17th century
Great Britain
United States
Norfolk (England)
Sankt-Peterburgskii Akademia Nauk
Berlin Zoological Museum

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