Ornithology Collections in Mann Library
History and Cataloging Information
In 1865 Cornell University was designated the land-grant institution for the state of
New York. Since that date the subject of ornithology has been a major concern of
librarians building the book and journal collections in support of the university's
agricultural and biological sciences programs.
The result of that concern is a research collection of 19th- and 20th-century
ornithological literature as comprehensive as any in the nation. It is strongest in
English-language materials but worldwide in scope. The bulk of this collection, some
10,000 volumes, is housed, maintained, and supplemented daily by the Albert R. Mann
Over the past century the emphasis of study at Cornell has shifted as ornithology has
developed into a recognized science. Prior to, and early in, the 20th century, interest
was strongest in the economic effects of birds on agriculture, in birds as objects of
nature study and as decorative motifs, and in the development of bird classification
systems. Increasingly in the 20th century, birds have played a leading role in studies in
evolutionary biology, animal behavior, biogeography, systematics, speciation, physiology,
migration, ecology, and conservation. The literature of ornithology chronicles the change.
Because of the size and inclusiveness of the Mann Library ornithology collection, no
attempt is made to list specific titles in this guide. All catalog records appear in the
national library databases (RLIN & OCLC) as well as in the Cornell University Library Online Catalog.
Monograph titles appear with complete bibliographic records. Serials and monograph series
titles that are currently received are in the database with summary holdings. Any issue of
a serial or monograph in a series that has been analyzed (that is, a separate catalog
record has been made for the individual serial issue or number in the series) has also
been entered in the databases.
Online guide developed from:
Ornithology Collections in the Libraries at Cornell University: A Descriptive Guide
Revised Edition, 1999
Ithaca, New York
© 1999 Cornell University Library
Webpage last revised: 6/10/99 by jfc & clsb.