Mexico City: Imprenta del Aguila, Dirigida Jose Ximeno, 1830. 9pp. Folio. Stitched, in plain laid paper wrappers. Two small wormholes through lower margin, not affecting text. Very light tanning and dust soiling. Near fine. Item #1799
The Museo de Historia Natural in Mexico City is the oldest public natural history museum founded in the New World. It began as a cabinet in 1790, and, after the collection moved several times in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a permanent museum was established by a decree of President Vicente Guerrero in 1831. The present work provides instructions for the collection and preservation of natural history specimens, with individual sections concerning plants, fruits, birds, quadrupeds, reptiles, insects, minerals, and more, and was printed the year prior to the official foundation of the institution. The directions for preserving animals are, of course, elaborately gory ("Lo primero que debe hacerse ante de quitar la piel á un pájaro, es vaciar su estómago..."). Very scarce, OCLC locates only one copy, at the Wellcome Library, and no copies appear in public sales records.