Posts tagged ‘aps’

Astronomy in the Maya Codices: APS Memoirs Vol. 265

Astronomy in the Maya Codices: APS Memoirs Vol. 265
By Harvey M. Bricker and Victoria R. Bricker
(Hardcover, 907 pages, 2011, $75.00)

Astronomy in the Maya Codices

The Precolumbian Maya were closely attuned to the movements of the Sun and the Moon, the stars and the planets. Their rituals and daily tasks were performed according to a timetable established by these celestial bodies, a timetable based on a highly complex calendar system. Agriculture provided the foundation for their civilization, and the skies served as a kind of farmer’s almanac for when to plant and when to harvest.

In this remarkable volume, noted Maya scholars Harvey Bricker and Victoria Bricker offer invaluable insight into the complex world of the Precolumbian Maya, and in particular the amazing achievements of Maya astronomy, as revealed in the Maya codices the indigenous hieroglyphic books written before the Spanish Conquest. This far-reaching study confirms that, independent of the Old World traditions that gave rise to modern Western astronomy, the Precolumbian Maya achieved a sophisticated knowledge of astronomy based on observations recorded over centuries. Illustrations.

Here is the right half of the seasonal tables of the Dresden Codex:
Astronomy in the Maya Codices

Astronomy in the Maya Codices is the first thorough treatise on the codices since Thompson’s A Commentary on the Dresden Codex four decades ago,” writes Prof. Anthony F. Aveni, the Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy and Anthropology and Native American Studies at Colgate University.

“The Brickers’ work is special in that it gives a complete account of the historical background of scholarly inquiries into each of the instruments they deal with. Finally, and most importantly, rather than imagining them to consist merely of endless temporal rounds, the Brickers attempt to place each cordial instrument in real time, an approach they uniquely develop and fully justify. In its depth, thoroughness, and revealed new insights, this work will remain the ‘last word’ on the role of astronomy in the codices and in Maya thought for a long time to come.”

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August 16, 2011 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

History of the Portrait Collection, Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia (American Philosophical Society)

History of the Portrait Collection,
Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia

by Doris Devine Fanelli and Karie Diethorn (American Philosophical Society)
(Paperback, 360 pages, 2001, ISBN: 0871692422, $65.00)

Portrait CollectionThe American Philosophical Society in conjunction with the Independence National Historical Park announces the publication of the first catalog of the portraits in the National Park collection.

Read the Google Preview: Portrait Collection of this book before you purchase it.

These portraits, most of which are exhibited in the Second Bank of the United States, consist of 255 works, 109 of them by Charles Willson Peale. Many are likenesses of heroes of the American Revolution and Founding Fathers of American government, statesmen, jurists, men of science, arts and letters. The collection was enhanced by the addition of the works of notable 18th and 19th Anglo-American artists.

The book is divided into two sections: a history of the collection dividing it chapters covering works pre-1950, 1850-1900 and 1900-1951, and a catalog. Each catalog entry is enhanced with either a black and white or four-color reproduction and contains a physical description of the portrait, a brief biography of the subject, the circumstance of the portrait’s commission and its provenance.

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August 17, 2010 at 1:05 am Leave a comment

Patriot Improvers Vol. 1-3, Members of the American Philosophical Society (APS), by Whitfield Bell

Patriot Improvers Vol. 1-3, Members of the American Philosophical Society (APS), by Whitfield Bell


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When Benjamin Franklin adopted John Bartram’s 1739 idea of bringing together the “virtuosi” of the colonies to promote inquiries into “natural secrets, arts and syances,” the result was, in 1743, the founding of the American Philosophical Society (APS).

Read more about Dr. Whitfield Bell’s definitive three-volume set of biographical sketches of early APS Members, many of whom were important historical figures in colonial Philadelphia.

The three-volume set is a worthy testament to a much loved member of the APS and a handsome addition to bookshelves.


Patriot Improvers Vol. 1 Patriot-Improvers: Members of the American Philosophical Society, Volume One: 1743-1768
(Memoir 226)

(Hardcover, 531 pages, 1997, $40.00)

Includes biographies of the Society’s best known members such as Franklin, David Rittenhouse, John Bartram, Benjamin Rush, John Dickinson, Thomas Hopkinson and lesser known merchants, artisans, farmers, physicians, lawyers and clergymen with familiar surnames such as Biddle, Colden and Morris. Illustrations. Read more >>


Patriot Improvers Vol. 2Patriot-Improvers: Members of the American Philosophical Society, Volume Two: 1768 (Memoir 227)
(Hardcover, 425 pages, 1999, $40.00)

This is the 2nd of 3 volumes of sketches that represent, “the first systematic attempt to collect and preserve data on the lives of [the Society’s first] members” and add much to our knowledge of the history and culture of 18th-century America. Contents: Sketches of Members inducted from 8 April-20 Dec. 1768; History of the Medical Society 1766-1768 and Sketches of Members; and Portraits of 31 Members. Read more >>


Patriot Improvers Vol. 3Patriot-Improvers: Biographical Sketches of Members of the American Philosophical Society: Volume Three: 1767-1768: Memoirs, APS (vol. 228)
(Hardcover, 696 pages, 2010, $60.00)

The long-anticipated third volume of Patriot-Improvers brings to an end the important work of Dr. Whit Bell, who started in 1997 to put together “biographical sketches of members of the American Philosophical Society elected between 1743, when Franklin proposed it, and 1769, when it was established on its present foundation by the union of several earlier institutions.” Work on this third volume was completed by APS Librarian Charles Greifenstein after the death of Dr. Bell in early 2009. Read more >>


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August 4, 2010 at 12:51 am 3 comments

Patriot-Improvers: Biographical Sketches of Members of the American Philosophical Society: Volume Three: 1767-1768: Memoirs, APS (Vol. 228)


Read more about the complete Patriot Improvers 3-volume set ››

Patriot-Improvers: Biographical Sketches of Members of the American Philosophical Society: Volume Three: 1767-1768: Memoirs, APS (Vol. 228)
by Whitfield J. Bell (American Philosophical Society)
(Hardcover, 696 pages, 2010, ISBN: 0871692287, $60.00)

Patriot Improvers Vol. 3The long-anticipated third volume of Patriot-Improvers brings to an end the important work of Dr. Whit Bell, who started in 1997 to put together “biographical sketches of members of the American Philosophical Society elected between 1743, when Franklin proposed it, and 1769, when it was established on its present foundation by the union of several earlier institutions” (Patriot-Improvers, Volume One, p. xiii).

Work on this third volume was completed by APS Librarian Charles Greifenstein after the death of Dr. Bell in early 2009. The three-volume set is a worthy testament to a much loved member of the APS and a handsome addition to bookshelves.

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August 4, 2010 at 12:24 am 1 comment

Patriot-Improvers: Members of the American Philosophical Society, Volume Two: 1768 (Memoir 227)


Read more about the complete Patriot Improvers 3-volume set ››

Patriot-Improvers: Members of the American Philosophical Society, Volume Two: 1768 (Memoir 227)
by Whitfield J. Bell (American Philosophical Society)
(Hardcover, 425 pages, 1999, ISBN: 0871692279, $40.00)

Patriot Improvers Vol. 2When Benjamin Franklin adopted John Bartram’s 1739 idea of bringing together the “virtuosi” of the colonies to promote inquiries into “natural secrets, arts and syances,” the result was, in 1743, the founding of the American Philosophical Society. Bell, records the early years of the Society through sketches of its first members, those elected between 1743 and 1769.

This is the second of three volumes of sketches that represent, “the first systematic attempt to collect and preserve data on the lives of [the Society’s first] members” and add much to our knowledge of the history and culture of 18th-century America. Contents: Sketches of Members inducted from 8 April-20 Dec. 1768; History of the Medical Society 1766-1768 and Sketches of Members; and Portraits of 31 Members.

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August 4, 2010 at 12:17 am 1 comment

Patriot-Improvers: Members of the American Philosophical Society, Volume One: 1743-1768 (Memoir 226)


Read more about the complete Patriot Improvers 3-volume set ››

Patriot-Improvers: Members of the American Philosophical Society, Volume One: 1743-1768 (Memoir 226)
by Whitfield J. Bell (American Philosophical Society)
(Hardcover, 531 pages, 1997, ISBN: 0871692260, $40.00)

Patriot Improvers Vol. 1When Benjamin Franklin adopted John Bartram’s 1739 idea of bringing together the “virtuosi” of the colonies to promote inquiries into “natural secrets, arts and syances,” the result was, in 1743, the founding of the American Philosophical Society.

Read the Google Preview: Patriot Improvers Vol. 1 of this book before you purchase it.

Bell records the early years of the Society through sketches of its first members, those elected between 1743 and 1769. This volume includes biographies of some of the Society’s best known members such as Franklin, David Rittenhouse, John Bartram, Benjamin Rush, John Dickinson, Thomas Hopkinson and many lesser known merchants, artisans, farmers, physicians, lawyers and clergymen with familiar surnames such as Biddle, Colden, and Morris. Illustrations.

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August 4, 2010 at 12:07 am 1 comment

Sporting with the Classics: The Latin Poetry of William Dillingham: American Philosophical Society Transactions, Vol. 100, Part 1. (ISBN: 9781606180013)

Sporting with the Classics:
The Latin Poetry of William Dillingham:
American Philosophical Society Transactions
Vol. 100, Part 1.

by Estelle Haan (American Philosophical Society, ISBN: 9781606180013)
(Paperback, 123 pages, 2010, $35.00)

Sporting with the ClassicsThis study focuses on the original Latin poetry of William Dillingham, a 17th-century editor, anthologist, and Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University.

It does so in an attempt to disprove claims that Dillingham’s talent lay in criticism rather than in original composition, and that his Latin verse shows his complete independence of the old school of classical imitation.

This study has the twofold aim of highlighting both the classical and the contemporary intertexts with which this hitherto neglected poetry engages.

It argues that far from constituting the leisurely product of a gentleman in rustic retirement, this is highly talented verse that “sports” with the classics in several ways: first in its self-consciously playful interaction with the Latin poets of Augustan Rome, chiefly Virgil and Ovid; second in its appropriation of a classical world and its linguistic medium to describe such 17th-century sports or pastimes as bowling, horticulture, and bell-ringing.

It also foregrounds the pseudoromanticism surprisingly inherent in the work of a late-17th-century poet, who, it is argued, discovered in his twilight years a neo-Latin inspirational Muse.

About the Author
Estelle Haan is Professor of English and Neo-Latin Studies at the Queen’s University of Belfast. Her research interests lie mainly in links between English and neo-Latin poetry of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in particular the Latin poetry of English poets.

Previously with the APS, she authored: “Classical Romantic: Identity in the Latin Poetry of Vincent Bourne” (2007), “Vergilius Redivivus: Studies in Joseph Addison’s Latin Poetry” (2005) and “From Academia to Amicitia: Milton’s Latin Writings and the Italian Academies (1998).

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July 12, 2010 at 1:47 pm Leave a comment

To Do Justice to Him and Myself: Evert Wendell’s Account Book of the Fur Trade with Indians in Albany, New York, 1695-1726 (includes cd-rom with original Dutch text) (ISBN: 1606189123)

To Do Justice to Him and Myself:
Evert Wendell’s Account Book of the Fur Trade with Indians in Albany, New York, 1695-1726

by Kees-Jan Waterman (American Philosophical Society, ISBN: 1606189123)
(Paperback, 310 pages and CD-ROM with original Dutch text, 2008, $50.00)

To Do Justice to Him and MyselfThis translated Dutch account book of the fur trade with Indians yields essential data for understanding workings of intercultural fur trade in colonial North America.

It contains accounts of hundreds of Indians, many listed with their own names, who purchased merchandise on credit from Evert Wendell (1681-1750) and his relatives in Albany, NY. Over 2,000 credit transactions and payments are recorded. This book has been praised as a major addition to the literature on the fur trade which challenges many widely held interpretations.

Illustrations. Tables. The book also includes a CD-ROM with transcription of the Dutch manuscript (searchable).

“The introductory essay and the tables put together from Waterman’s detailed reading of the account suggest an active trade between the Evert family and a wide range of Indians from many different tribal groupings,” writes Ann M. Carlos in the Journal of Economic History (70:2). “One has to be particularly impressed with the level of detail extracted from the accounts after looking at the photographs of the original documents.

“Waterman argues that these accounts with about 300 different individuals give us an unprecedented glimpse into intercultural exchanges in the upper Hudson River valley. He points to the role played by women in this trade; to the nature of the goods exchanges; to the range of different tribal groupings; to the mention of “white” and “black” individuals and to the descriptions of naming practices and tattoos or lack of same.

“Not too many family account books from the early eighteenth century exist. This one documents commercial exchanges between an important Dutch trading family and native traders. Waterman provides an incredible level of detail about the people in these transactions [in this] interesting primary source.”

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July 8, 2010 at 12:07 am Leave a comment

Copepodologist’s Cabinet: A Biographical and Bibliographical History (American Philosophical Society Memoir 240, ISBN: 0871692406)

Copepodologist’s Cabinet:
A Biographical and Bibliographical History

(American Philosophical Society Memoir 240, ISBN: 0871692406)
by David M. Damkaer (Hardcover, 300 pages, 2002)
List Price: $60.00, OUR PRICE: $40.00

Copepodologist's Cabinet

Copepod crustaceans are the most numerous multicellular animals on earth. They occur in every free-living and parasitic aquatic niche. Copepods have been known since the time of Aristotle, yet there has never been a history of the study of copepods.

Read the Google Preview: Copepodologist's Cabinet of this book before you purchase it.

This volume, the first in a planned three-volume series, reviews the discoveries of copepods to 1832, the year that the two distinct branches, the free-living copepods (long-known as insects) and the parasitic copepods (thought to be molluscs or worms) were finally acknowledged as members of the same Class Crustacea.

The narrative includes the biographies of 90 early copepodologists and recounts their most important contributions to science. Portraits are included for two-thirds of the subjects, with considerable new material as well as information and illustrations from obscure sources.

Milestones include the first description of copepods (ca. 350 B.C.), the first illustration (1554), the first free-living freshwater copepod (1688), the first explanation of a free-living copepod’s metamorphosis (1756), the first permanently named copepod (1758), the first free-living marine copepod (1770), and the first description of a parasitic copepod’s metamorphosis (1819).

The work ends with a transition to the mid-19th century, previewing numerous personal connections that pointed toward copepodology’s Golden Age in the 1890s, to be covered in Volume 2. A final volume will take the history of the study of copepods to ca. 1950.

“Although the author himself points out that ‘no single book could encompass the whole biographical and bibliographical history of the study of copepods,’ ‘The Copepodologist’s Cabinet’ is unquestionably the most thorough and scholarly history of early contributions to copepodology,” writes Rony Huys in the journal Archives of Natural History.

“The book is a riveting read, elegantly produced, and abounds with fascinating stories and snippets. The numerous facsimiles of title pages and frontispieces, the invaluable historic illustrations of copepods and the portraits of authorities who examined them are all beautifully reproduced on high quality paper. The comprehensive bibliography is interspersed with signatures of eminent and less renowned copepod workers.

“In conclusion, this book will no doubt be treasured by anyone who is interested in the history of carcinological research in general and copepodology in particular.”

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July 7, 2010 at 11:32 pm Leave a comment

Renaissance Vision from Spectacles to Telescopes (American Philosophical Society Memoir 259, ISBN: 0871692597)

Renaissance Vision from Spectacles to Telescopes
(American Philosophical Society Memoir 259, ISBN: 0871692597)
by Vincent Ilardi (Hardcover no dustjacket, 305 pages, 2007, $85.00)

Renaissance VisionThis book deals with the history of eyeglasses from their invention in Italy ca. 1286 to the appearance of the telescope three centuries later.

“By the end of the 16th century eyeglasses were as common in western and central Europe as desktop computers are in western developed countries today.” Eyeglasses served an important technological function at both the intellectual and practical level, not only easing the textual studies of scholars but also easing the work of craftsmen/small businessmen.

Read the Google Preview: Towards a Rational Historiography of this book before you purchase it.

An important subthesis of this book is that Florence, rather than Venice, seems to have dominated the commercial market for eyeglasses during the 15th century, when two crucial developments occurred: the ability to grind convex lenses for various levels of presbyopia and the ability to grind concave lenses for the correction of myopia. As a result, eyeglasses could be made almost to prescription by the early 17th century. Illustrations.

“Ilardi has produced the definitive history of spectacles – aided in part by economic historians and others who over the decades sent him relevant records discovered in Florentine, English, and other European archives,” writes Pamela O. Long in a review for the Medieval Academy of North America’s Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies (April 2009). [PDF]

“At a time when many historians of technology and of material culture conceive their work contextually or in terms of cultural meaning, this study is resolutely focused on the empirical evidence for spectacles as it has been found for various times and places.

“Ilardi has done more than expand our knowledge of a particular area of history. Over the decades during which he carried out his investigation and with the warmly appreciated help of scholars in other archives, most importantly the Florentine, he has created a substantial history of eyeglasses that had not existed before.”

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July 7, 2010 at 11:13 pm Leave a comment

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