Natural History of New York is Featured Book for February 2009

Book Cover cropped 2.jpgIn conjunction with the exhibit, “Garden of Delights: Spring Comes to Special Collections,” A Flora of the State of New York is the Special Collections featured book for February. Published by Carroll and Cook, Albany’s Printers to the Assembly, the title page describes this 1843 volume as “comprising full descriptions of all the indigenous and naturalized plants hitherto discovered in the state, with remarks on their economical and medicinal properties.”
Passed by the New York State Legislature in 1836, the Act for the Geological Survey of New York provided provision for a full account of the Natural History of the state. John Torrey who was appointed to take charge of the Botanical Department of the survey, created two volumes and claims it to be “the first separate work in which all the known plants of New-York have been enumerated and described.” And, indeed, John Torrey was the man for the job as he was an enthusiastic botanist who exclaimed that “there are few regions north of Virginia, possessed of greater interest to the botanist, than the State of New-York.”
As promised on the title page, plants are fully decribed. Beautfully colored plates provide visual detail for plants from the silver-leaved maple to the spotted winter-green and all of those in between.
A must for botanists and certainly appealing to even the casual nature lover, this book can be viewed by visiting Special Collections on the second floor of the Glenn G. Bartle Library.