150 years have passed since the expedition to Algeria. This scientific expedition toAlgeria was a fully private initiative and was made possible thanks to the sponsorship ofthe Branicki family, more particularly the one of Konstanty Branicki (1824–1884). Thisgenerous sponsorship enabled two remarkable naturalists, Władysław Taczanowski (1819–1890) and Antoni Waga (1799–1890), to take part in the expedition. The expedition turnedout to be an important event for the international scientific community. Zoological specimenscollected during the expedition enriched the Warsaw Zoological Cabinet, along withcollections sent by Konstanty Jelski (1837–1896) from South America and specimens sentfrom Siberia by Polish deportees, such as Benedykt Dybowski (1833–1930). This initiateda golden era in Polish ornithology. It also participated in the development of zoologicalmuseography in Warsaw, transforming a provincial museum into one of the most importantzoological collections in the world. Observations on 210 different species of birds werepublished by W. Taczanowski in the Journal für Ornithologie and in The Zoologist: A PopularMiscellany of Natural History. They constitute a considerable contribution to the recognitionof the North African fauna.This volume includes all known materials in relation to the expedition to Algeria, whichwere published or stored in the form of manuscripts and typescripts. Popular science articlespublished by W. Taczanowski in the Illustrated Weekly, Warsaw Library, Józef Unger IllustratedPopular Science Warsaw Calendar, Journal für Ornithologie and The Zoologist:A Popular Miscellany of Natural History were included as a facsimilé. Also analysed andincluded are three letters from W. Taczanowski to K. Jelski, on the Algerian Expedition,stored in the Archives of Congregation of the Missionary Priests in Cracow. In addition,a chapter entitled “Diary from the journey of Antoni Waga” includes Waga’s notes concerningthe expedition to Algeria. It is a part of the original document archived in the PAS(Polish Academy of Sciences) and PAAS (Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences) ScientificArchive in Cracow.In accordance with tendencies prevailing in modern natural sciences, the authors didnot limit their research to written sources, but also considered specimens from Algeria andtheir original labels. The Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS in Warsaw owns a collectionof animals collected during this expedition. Despite losses due to fire and war damages,the Warsaw collection currently includes: 174 spider specimens representing 16 species,10 insect specimens from 8 species, 7 fish specimens from 7 species, 8 reptile specimensfrom 4 species, 154 bird specimens from 77 species, and 20 mammal specimens from14 species.All the original material is analyzed in terms of natural features, museography andhistory of science. Scientific results of the expedition are presented in their historical context,including analyses carried by the French colonial administration or results of English,German and Russian zoologists. These publication of original materials constitute an interestingmaterial for the History of Algeria in 19th century, as they are rare documentsabout this country, which are not related to the French colonial administration. They arealso a valuable testimony for the history of Polish scientific institution during times ofannexation and post-upraising repression.
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Nov 22, 2017
|2 (2017) Z dziejów Gabinetu Zoologicznego : materiały z wyprawy do Algierii (1866-1867)||May 24, 2019|
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