Publication Details

Coote, A., Haynes, A., Philp, J. & Ville, S. (2017). When Commerce, Science and Leisure Collaborated: the Nineteenth-Century Global Trade Boom in Natural History Collections. Journal of Global History, 12 (3), 319-339.


Natural history products formed an important, but little studied, component of the globalization of trade in the mid nineteenth century. The trade, specifically in zoology, occurred in the face of considerable challenges. It penetrated some of the more remote areas of the globe; its products were heterogeneous and difficult to price; and exchange occurred among scientists, commercial traders, and collectors, each of whom had their own particular practices and mores. This article charts the dimensions of this trade and offers explanations about the ways in which its complexities were addressed through major developments in taxidermy, taxonomy, transport and business logistics, alternative forms of exchange, and trust-based networks. More broadly, our work speaks to current developments in global history, imperial networks, and the history of scientific collecting.



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