[ Contents ] [ Foreword ] [ Preface ] [ Catalog ]
[ Appendix ] [ Appendix Index ] [ Index ]



This catalog is designed to increase the accessibility and usefulness of the Washington State University Veterinary History Collection, especially for persons having little familiarity with the early veterinary literature. The entries are based on printouts of individual and collated items as catalogued by the WSU Libraries staff, many of which were in short-title form. To save space, some of these have been further shortened to an extent that does not interfere with the intended sense of the title.

Of the more than 1,800 titles dating from 1550 to 1990, some 1,200 were in the collection I gathered while a staff member at Michigan State University, in conjunction with an extensive program of teaching, research and writing in this area. These items are identified by a § following the entry.

Anonymous works are grouped by subject matter, e.g., Almanacs, Animal disease, etc. Some authored entries are also grouped to facilitate access to them, e.g., Animal welfare, Dictionaries, etc. Grouped entries are as follows:

Almanacs US Army Veterinary Service

Animal disease US Dept of Agriculture

Animal welfare USDA Bureau of Animal Husbandry

Catalogs Veterinary associations

Dictionaries Veterinary colleges

Great Britain Veterinary history

Horses Veterinary periodicals

The annotations are meant to give only a brief indication of the content and/or relative value of that work. In the latter regard they are subjective, and a characterization as retrograde or worthless at the time of publishing does not mean the work has no value in such a collection. Thus the writings of Gervase Markham, wretched as they were even in the 17th century, nevertheless constitute an important chapter in the history of veterinary medicine—which in Britain and to some extent in America would have been different had he not published these works. The Smith whose commentary is referred to in some annotations is Sir Frederick Smith, author of The early history of veterinary literature (item 1328).

The Index affords ready access to some 400 subjects likely to be of interest to persons delving into the early literature. Many of these works, of course, contain a multitude of other topics, which will become apparent when any of them are handled. For anyone wanting a general overview of veterinary history, the entry for History gives 14 such works under the subentry Vet med, and there are 46 subentries for more specialized topics. For works with several editions, usually only one early edition is indexed; it may be fruitful to look into later editions, although in many instances these are little more than reprints. Some of the more important sources for most topics are given in bold face, and an asterisk (*) indicates works published before 1800, or those dealing largely with this period. Where appropriate, species are indicated by a letter code preceding the item number.

The Appendix (separately indexed) is devoted to non-book materials in the collection. It describes manuscripts and archival collections, graphics, reprints, unpublished materials, and ephemera. Because of the nature of the material, it has been arranged more along archival principles than book or monographic cataloging principles. Catalog numbers have not been assigned to each item, as in the main (first) part of the catalog. Rather, catalog numbers have been largely reserved for clusters of documents, either those having a common denominator in terms of subject matter, or having been created by a single individual or organization.

Special mention is due my wife Ann, whose enthusiastic and at times total attention to this subject has made her not only highly knowledgeable on the matter but a worthy coequal in production of this catalog. Neither of us is a bibliographer, and we wish to acknowledge the indispensable groundwork done by various WSU Library workers and, especially, the guidance of John Guido, Laila Miletic-Vejzovic, Julia King, and Leila Luedeking. We also wish to thank the Washington State University Press for its meticulous work in producing so handsome a volume.

J. Fred Smithcors

Santa Barbara, California