Wednesday, September 10, 2003

The Society Meeting 2003

 The meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia.

St. Petersburg, Russia was the assembly point for the Business meeting of ISHBH in August. Seven members of the Society, including those new members who signed up at the meeting, attended the main venue, the congress of the Societas Europaea Herpetologica. The organizing committee and the Society arranged a well-received workshop on the history of herpetology with four speakers and one poster next to the meeting hall in the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The presentations included information about the life and herpetological work of Linnaeus (R. Wahlgren), the history of herpetology at the Zoological Institute in St. Petersburg (N. Ananjeva), the life of Alexander Koenig and his family in St. Petersburg (N. Ivanova), the French confiscation of herpetological collections during the First Republic and Empire (A. Bauer and P. Daszkiewicz), and the 100th anniversary of the birth of two great Russian herpetologists, Sergius Chernov and Paul Terentjev (N. Ananjeva and I. Danilov).

The group had also been invited for a special display of the herpetological collections of the Institute's world famous library. It was a stunning experience. The Library of the Zoological Institute of St. Petersburg holds about 540, 000 items including a wealth of herpetological books of historical significance. On the table were a dozen unique books, among them Christopher Gottwald's atlas (1714) Museum Gottwaldianum with several folded plates of chelonians, known from three copies only, Johann Walbaum's Chelonographia(1782), and both a colored and an uncolored version of Albertus Seba (1734, vol. 1) Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri for the viewers to compare and appreciate the quality of both states of illustration. We thank the librarians, Mrs. Ludmila Grozdilova and Mrs. Julia Dunaeva, and their colleagues for the opportunity given to audience to view part of this remarkable library.

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