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Like many specialized branches of zoology, arachnology has suffered greatly from a lack of easy access to the basic scientific literature. The problem is particularly acute in the field of systematics, where constant reference to earlier descriptions of taxa is essential.
UMI®'s microfiche collection, Arachnological Library: Key Works in Spider Systematics, represents an affordable solution. It brings together a collection of 61 fundamental publications on spiders, totaling some 31,000 manuscript pages. Many of these works are extremely rare or otherwise unavailable to those without access to the major research centers in Paris, London, New York, or Boston. Till now, this inaccessibility has discouraged many scholars from undertaking arachnological research, not just in systematics but in ecology, physiology, and ethology. The Arachnological Library fills the gap by providing constant and easy access to an enormous volume of published descriptions and illustrations.
The Arachnological Library is divided into four sections, sold individually or as a set.
Section A, Early Classical Works This section includes "the single most important work in spider systematics," Simon's Histoire Naturelle des Araignees (second edition, 1892-1897). This massive work (nearly 3,000 manuscript pages in the original) describes all the then-known spider families and genera. Other early European titles include landmark works by Blackwall, Picard-Cambridge, Becker, Bosenberg, Dahl, Menge, Thorell, and Herman, as well as more general works by Reimoser and Petrunkevitch. (74 microfiche total) Section B, European & General Studies Section B includes Linnaeus' Systema Naturae (tenth edition, 1758) and Clerck's Aranei Suecici (1757), which form the starting point of European spider nomenclature. Also included is Koch and Hahn's 3,000-page monograph, Die Arachniden, and works by Fabricius, Audouin, Latreille, Walckenaer, Wider, Lister, Martyn, and Sundevall. (178 microfiche total) Section C, New World Studies In Section C are Picard-Cambridge's contributions to the great Biologia Centrali-Americana series, McCook's American Spiders and Their Spinning Work, together with contributions from Hentz, Nicolet, the Peckhams, and Petrunkevitch. (75 microfiche total) Section D, Indian, Australian & Far Eastern Works Section D includes Thorell's Ragni Malesi e Papuani, together with the extremely rare Malaysian Spiders by Workman, which provides important illustrations of the species described by Thorell. Also included are Bosenberg and Strand's Japanische Spinnen, Pocock's Fauna of British India, and Keyserling's Die Arachniden Australiens, with other works by Thorell and Vinson. (68 microfiche total)