Bibliography Record

Allen, Joel Asaph (detail)
Preliminary list of works and papers relating to the mammalian orders Cete and Sirenia.
Bull. U.S. Geol. & Geogr. Surv. Terr. 6(3)(Art. 18): 399-562. Aug. 30, 1882.
–Repr.: Arno Press, New York, 1974. A facsimile edition of 500 copies with a 12-page author index (which the original lacked) was published in 1977 by A. D. Lilly, Hythe, Kent, England. That ed. erroneously gives the original date of publication as 1881; the correct date of Aug. 30, 1882 is found on the wrapper of vol. 6, no. 3 of the Bulletin, and the year and month are confirmed in the volume's Prefatory Note by F. V. Hayden (pp. iii-iv) and in the table of contents (p. v).
  This bibliography has been made available on-line as a part of the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS).
  This scholarly bibliography covers the years 1495-1840 and includes 1,014 items (two item numbers are duplicated and one is omitted), of which about 230 deal with sirenians. Though of course not "complete" for the period covered (as if any such bibliography ever is), Allen's list is an invaluable source for the very early literature, and his judicious critical annotations are a useful guide to the many editions of these early works as well as to the material they contain. Other attractive features are the detailed transcription of title pages and description of collations, which I have not attempted to reproduce or emulate in the present work.
  Allen's foreword, dated Sept. 1881, concludes (p. 401) with the statement that "The attempt has been made to bring the 'List' down to the end of the year 1880, but a few later titles have been added, and there are doubtless many deficiencies for the last year of the record." Hayden's Prefatory Note explains that the incompleteness of the published version was due to the author's sickess, and this is confirmed by a slip of paper inserted in some copies, which reads: "Owing to the illness of the author, which prevented his revision of the proofsheets, it was necessary to stop the printing of the 'List' at the end of the year 1840. The present instalment comprises only a little more than one-third of the article; the remainder will be published as soon as the author's health renders it practicable. J. A. ALLEN. Cambridge, Sept., 1882."
  Allen much later (Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. Bull. 24(18): 279-280, 1908) explained that the compilation of this bibliography was intended as a preliminary step toward "a work on the Cetacea and Sirenia of North America, to be published as a volume of the quarto Reports of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories [the Hayden Survey].... The preparation of the text of the monograph (on the same general plan as the author's previously published volume on the Pinnipedia) was well advanced, ... [but] was suddenly interrupted by the author's serious illness, resulting in a prolonged period of invalidism. During this interval the "Hayden Survey" ceased to exist, and the reorganized Geological Survey, made no provision for the completion of the unfinished zo├Âlogical work begun under the Hayden Survey. Later other interests engaged the author's attention, and nothing further was done on the proposed monograph of the Cetacea and Sirenia."
  Although Allen lived until 1921, and did eventually publish part of his cetacean manuscript, no more of the sirenian material ever appeared (see Autobiographical notes and a bibliography of the scientific publications of Joel Asaph Allen, New York, Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist.: ix + 215, 1916). Dr. James G. Mead has diligently searched for the unpublished manuscript and proofsheets of the bibliography in various archives, without success; they may have been destroyed (see J. G. Mead & R. G. Dagit, 2002, "Plates for Joel Asaph Allen's unpublished monograph on the mammalian orders Cete and Sirenia and a record of the search for the manuscript", Smithson. Contr. Paleobiol. 93: 357-372).

Related Index Records (1)

Bibliographies of the Sirenia
  x * 1882 Allen, J.A. (1,014 items on Cetacea & Sirenia, 1495-1840, including about 230 on Sirenia; 399-562.)

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