Saturday 26 March 2016

Butterflies collected in the Shire Valley, East Africa (1861)

From Butterflies collected in the Shire Valley, East Africa by Horace Waller (1861) 


Prints created by pressing or scraping the scales from butterfly wings onto slips of paper, with outlines and some hand-coloring added later. The paper slips are mounted on leaves of brown paper compiled into an album. It appears that two mounted prints may have been removed from one of the leaves, which show traces of adhesive.

Each print is identified by the scientific name of its species handwritten in ink. Captions may include information on the butterfly's appearance as a caterpillar, its behavior, usual habitat, location, color, or scarcity.

The Cullman Library has a list of the species name for each print on file.

The album was previously thought to have have been compiled by Sir John Kirk, as described in the original Russell E. Train collection catalog entry. The album may have been in Kirk's possession at some point.

The album has been digitized as part of the Smithsonian Field Book Project.

English anti-slavery activist and Anglican missionary for the Universities' Mission to Central Africa, which had a station established in the Shire Highlands where Waller was probably based between 1861 and 1862.

Book available HERE.

The image below is a Papilio demoleus.