Archives Article

Illustrations from "A History of the Fishes of Massachusetts"

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Between 1853 and 1867 the Academy published Member and naturalist David Humphreys Storer’s “A History of the Fishes of Massachusetts” in Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. It was later published in a book of the same title in 1867. "A History of Fishes..." described many species of fish in the waters of New England and was called by Academy Member and entomologist Samuel H. Scudder a “land-mark in the ichthyological literature of the country.”

Storer’s descriptions included in total 39 plates of figures,many of them drawn by draughtsman Antoine Sonrel. The Archives has in its collection many of the draft sketches prepared for engraving. In pencil and ink, handwritten notes include captions for the images and instructions, such as: “To the engraver – It will be necessary to stipple this fish as it is covered with fine, sharp scales too small to be outlined.”

View the Finding Aid for this collection here, featuring links to scanned images of the individual sketches. 

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