A Natural History Investigation Update

Here’s a quick follow up on my research to identify one of my old books…

My first attempt to get Bernard BARR’s book about William Milner failed because the Montreal libraries have a policy not to get an Inter-Library Loan (PEB) if it will incur a fee for the borrower. Actually, I wouldn’t have minded but I’ll check if the National Library (BAnQ) has a similar policy. The last resort would be to travel to NYC where the NYPL has a copy… Or I could get a copy through Google books or Amazon… Although, it doesn’t seem available… We’ll see…

In the meantime, I dug deeper into WorldCat and found possible candidates for my book.

The first candidate could be: Georges Louis Leclerc BUFFON, comte de. Natural History (containing a full and accurate description of the animated beings in nature : illustrated with upwards of three hundred engravings of birds, beasts, fishes, reptiles, insects, etc.). Milner & Co., [188-?], 224 pages. Interesting description of the binding (red cloth over boards stamped with black ink, gilt title on top board, gilt spine ornaments) but it’s too recent and there’s not enough pages to be my book…

The second candidate looks more interesting: Richard COPE & Thomas BEWICK, Natural History (or a description of the earth and of animated nature, compiled from the works of Buffon, Goldsmith, Cuvier, Shaw, Vaillant, Humboldt, Audubon, &c.). Milner & Co., [1860]. It was first published in 1840 and has 730 pages, its size is 23 cm and includes 425 engravings [by or after T. Bewick]. I could compare my book with it since the Université de Montreal has a copy (but is it available to the public? And it doesn’t say which specific library…). There’s another edition of 1846 (but the size is 27 cm) again with a copy at the UdeM. Among the numerous editions (many seems to be microform copies) of the same book, the oldest seems to date from 1842. One specifically says “by William Milner, Cheapside, 1846” (with also a copy at the UdeM!). Too bad there are no pictures. 

The Cheapside 1846 edition seems the best option, so I’ll first see if I can get it through Inter-Library Loan (despite the age of the book). If not, I’ll go to the UdeM to investigate further… 

To be continued

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