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Beaty Biodiversity Museum

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia is a newly open research centre and museum focusing on all thing natural and all things naturally diverse.
Read more about the museum here +

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Books to Buy:

From sixteenth-century cabinets of wonders to provocative works of contemporary animal art, my book The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing examines the cultural and poetic history of preserving animals in lively postures.

Read more about the book here +

History of Taxidermy & Natural History Museums:

Stephen Asma's enjoyable history of natural history museums and their ordering principles.

Photographs and images of the Harvard Musem of Natural History's exceptional collection of natural artefacts.

Images and history behind the American Museum of Natural History's famous dioramas.

Building great natural history museums takes more than great specimens. Carla Yanni examines the role of architecture in the establishment of Victorian catherdrals of nature. Paula Findlen's classic work on the history of early modern collecting and cabinets of wonders. A history of habitat Dioramas and illusions of wilderness in natural history Museums by Karen Wonders. Out of print, but worth tracking down.
A neat overview of the making of the dioramas at the Field Museum in Chicago. A catalogue of the taxidermied dog collecion at Tring Museum by Juliet Clutton-Brock and Kim Dennis-Bryan Melissa Milgrom's fabulous romp through the wild world of taxidermy.
Jay Kirk's biography of Carl Akeley, the mad behind some of America's greatest dioramas.


Collecting Interests:


Nanoq: Flat Out and Bluesome: a Cultural Life of Polar Bears: Bryndis Snaebjornsdottir and Mark Wilson's quest to find and photograph every stuffed polar bear in Great Britain.

Rosamund Purcell's photographs of rare, endangered, and extinct species preserved in natural history museums.

Although mainly concerning romantic era collecting, Judith Pascoe's book has an excellent chapter on stuffed hummingbirds in early nineteenth-century England.
The photographic stories of eight collectors. Text by Stephen Jay Gould and photographs by Rosamund Wolff Purcell. Philipp Blom's highly readable book of short essays on some of the great collectors and collections of the last four centuries including a few collectors of taxidermy. A volume of essays including my essay "Botched Animals and Enigmatic Beasts," which explores the world of early modern nature collecting.


Animals & Animal Studies:


Steve Baker explores animals and animal imagery in contemporary art, with a special emphasis on what he terms "botched taxidermy."

An anthology of essays on killing animals from the Animal Studies Group. Authors include Steve Baker, Erica Fudge, and Jonathan Burt.

David Quammen takes on maneaters (bears, sharks, crocodiles) with several excursions into taxidermy



A collecting of essays presenting a cross-cultural, cross-historical look at animals including a look at taxidermy by Jane Desmond.