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Old 01-03-2017, 05:55 AM   #1
ATDrake
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Lightbulb Free (DRM-free) Elephants Are Not Picked From Trees [Museum Nature Exhibit History]

Elephants Are Not Picked From Trees: Animal Biographies in the Gothenburg Natural History Museum by Liv Emma Thorsen (faculty profile), a professor emerita at the University of Oslo in Norway, is her accessibly-written academic micro-history book showcasing the origins of four of the subtitular Swedish museum's preserved animal exhibits, free courtesy of the Aarhus University Press in Denmark.

This is their English-language Free Book of the Month selection for January. This is really very nifty, not only lavishly illustrated with period and modern photographs, but also with plenty of stuff explaining the historical cultural background surrounding the fad for taxidermied animal acquisition in past centuries, as well as quotes from original documents about the acquisition process and subsequent treatment and setup of the exhibits and their ensuing reception by the public. I was kind of hoping there'd also be something about the infamous worst-ever historically taxidermied Swedish lion (Wikipedia), but apparently that one's not a museum exhibit at all, which is probably just as well.

Currently free throughout January directly @ the university's dedicated promo page (DRM-free PDF available worldwide), and you can read more about the title on its regular catalogue page.

This is a 37 meg file, which you probably don't want to download on a device that has data limits.

Description
"Elephants are not picked from trees" are the words of Swedish taxidermist and conservator David Sj÷lander, spoken while he was in Angola looking for a fine bull elephant specimen in the autumn of 1948. At the age of 62 Sj÷lander was to satisfy his life's dream of shooting the elephant he for so long had wished to prepare and exhibit. The African elephant was to be the main attraction in the Mammal Room of the Gothenburg National History Museum.

Liv Emma Thorsen, professor of cultural history, has reconstructed the Collection history of four mammals exhibited in the Gothenburg Natural History Museum that attraced much attenstion when they were displayed to the public for the first time: The elephant, gorilla, Tonkean macaque and walrus. The book examines how the museum acquried animals for exhibits from 1906 to 1948, and how living animal bodies became museum exhibits.

Using photographs and documents from the Gothenburg National History Museum, the book shows that these museums are in possession of valuable material for writing the cultural history of animals, and that the museums of natural history display a nature that is historically, socially and culturally construed.

Last edited by ATDrake; 01-03-2017 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 01-31-2017, 02:59 AM   #2
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Just a reminder that this will probably be the last day to pick up the freebie, if you're interested.
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Old 01-31-2017, 03:00 PM   #3
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thanks...looks interesting
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