Apr
15
2016

Antiquarian Geology and Exploration, Americana

One day, Tom came in and told me that he was picking up several boxes of old geology books. WHAT?! I'm thinking, assuming that they're textbooks from maybe the '70s - '90s. You know, "old". When he clarified that these were books from more like the 1870s - 1890s, I was somewhat more interested. I was even more excited when I started looking through them, because not only are many even older - the oldest two-volume set is from 1789 - but many are about the exploration of the American west. So many great maps! And how fun is it when maps have great expanses labeled "unexplored"? Ah, for the days there was still geographical mystery in the world... And often the geology books are also naturalist books, documenting the flora and fauna, and indigenous cultures of the regions explored. Thus, not only are there maps, many of the books are highly illustrated.

This was the age of Charles Darwin, for goodness sake. Not that we have any books by Darwin, but we do have a few by his predecessor Charles Lyell. Some of these books were printed in England, but the majority were printed in and about North America. Indeed, most could easily be categorized as Americana - western expansion, manifest destiny, and so forth. A box or two are heavy government surveys, many of which are projected routes for railroads mapping all aspects of the terrain. But the most intriguing survey is of J.C. Fremont's First and Second Expedition, published in 1845, a few years ahead of the California Gold Rush - this is important because the book includes an enormous fold-out map by Preuss, which was an enormous huge step towards western expansion, and was of help to those seeking their fortunes.

An overview of what we have available:

  • General geology books and elementary geology.
  • Stories of exploring North America, mostly of the west.
  • Government surveys of western states - geographical, flora, fauna, indigenous peoples, and so forth. Most include fold-out detailed maps and are fully illustrated.
  • Several books by Hugh Miller and others discussing how contemporary geology discoveries relate, and reinforce, the history of the Bible. Early creationists, in other words.
  • Utah and Mormonism - specifically the mysteries and crimes of.
  • A selection of books by and about John Charles Fremont, including Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842, and to Oregon and North California in the Years 1843-44.
  • Books by such notable geologists as: Charles Lyell, James D. Dana, Joseph Le Conte, Archibald Geikie, and Charles Hitchcock.
  • Mining - in regards ore and coal.
  • Many of the general geology books also have sections on paleontology, dinosaurs, and so forth.

The following are the books we have listed in our Antiquarian section, and as such is more inclusive than just geology. Soon enough these geology books will take it over!

 

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