Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1963. Peterson, Roger Tory. 2nd Printing. Hardcover. Duodecimo size, 336 pp., with signature of Clarence Cottam. Very good / good. Item #18082502
Roger Tory Peterson (1908-1996) was an imminent naturalist and ornithologist, as well as a talented artist, who first published "A Field Guide to Birds" in 1934, considered the first modern field guide. He went on to author or edit many field guides in what became the Peterson Field Guide series, on diverse topics such as minerals, reptiles, birds, and plants; his field guides are known for containing information accessible to the layperson, focusing on easily noticed visual features rather than technical features. This series garnered attention for the emerging environmental movement, and Peterson himself received every significant American award for natural science, ornithology, and conservation, including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Ludlow Griscom Award.
This volume is Peterson's "A Field Guide to the Birds of Texas", a comprehensive guide to birds native to Texas, with illustrations, both in colour and in black and white, by Peterson, to accompany information on the appearance, location, and voice of the birds.
Affixed to the half-title page of this volume is the signature of Clarence Cottam (1899-1974), the first director of the Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation; laid in is a letter from him (secretarially signed) addressed to the prior owner. Mr. Cottam was renowned in the field of ornithology; he earned his doctoral degree while working as a government biologist and taught in the field of ornithology for many years, including while as Dean of the College of Biology at Brigham Young University. The letter is on the letterhead of the Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation and is dated May 24, 1966; in it Mr. Cottam thanks the recipient for sending a "Kodachrome" of a "roadrunner with a lizard in its mouth" and compliments him on his "skill as an artist as well as a wildlife observer". The letter must have meant a great deal to the recipient, the prior owner of this volume, which explains why the actual signature of Clarence Cottam was obtained (where or when is not indicated) and is affixed to the book.
___DESCRIPTION: Full blue cloth, black lettering and an illustration of a bird on both the front board and spine, seven-inch ruler markings printed on the back board, pictorial endpapers with silhouettes of birds in black, title page with black-and-white drawing of a bird, black-and-white vignette illustrations of bird species and maps of the Texas area by Peterson thoughout, black-and-white and full-colour plates of illustrations of various bird species by Peterson throughout; duodecimo size (7.5" by 4.25"), pagination: [i-iv] v-xxx [xxxi-xxxii] 1-304, signed by Clarence Cottam on a separate piece of paper stapled to the half-title page. Loosely laid in is a letter addressed to the prior owner from Clarence Cottam, secretarially signed (see description above). In a price-clipped pictorial paper dust jacket with title in white and colour illustrations of birds on the front panel, white lettering on the spine, a list of books in the Peterson Field Guide Series on the rear panel, and a description of the book on the front and rear flaps.
___CONDITION: Volume is very good, with clean boards, straight corners, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright; some rubbing to the edges of the boards and to the head and tail of the spine, a small gold mark to the top of the back board, prior owner name and address is written in pen on the verso of the front free endpaper, and some very slight soiling to the fore-edges of the interior pages. The dust jacket is good only; while the colours remain bright, it is price-clipped with fairly substantial overall edge wear, minor soiling, head and tail of the spine and tops and bottoms of the flaps' hinges are chipped, and there is prior owner writing in pen on the inside of the front flap. The letter is near fine, clean, without wear, folded twice and then folded in half.
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