Book Acquisition: Johnson’s Natural History: The Illustrated Animal Kingdom

May 7, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, I couldn’t resist. I was in a rare bookstore in Salt Lake, and saw that they had both volumes of Johnson’s Natural History: The Illustrated Animal Kingdom. Doesn’t ring any bells? It’s the book that inspired many an O’Reilly book cover with its etchings of many different animals, over 1500 of them. It was published back in 1880 or so, and is really quite amazing. I didn’t have my scanner handy, but below is a duck image (forgive the poor quality, I snapped it with available room light using my Nikon 4500 handheld) that will give you some idea of the kind of thing that you can find.

DuckAnd this is only one of the fifteen hundred etchings in the book.

I’ve got some ideas about things I can do with these books, and most of them involve making the text and artwork available online. Stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted when I get some more of this worked out.

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Comment from rob
Time 1/1/2008 at 9:27 am

I also have both volumes 1 and 2 of Jonhson’s Natural, History, Animal Kingdom Illustrated 1870. Both are in good shape and I would like to know the true value of these in dallors. If you could share this? Please E-mail…

Comment from Mark VandeWettering
Time 1/2/2008 at 8:48 am

I think I may have paid $150 or so. Later scanning of eBay indicated that I may or may not have overpaid (they seem to go between $100 and $200 or so). Mine are in fair, but not outstanding condition.