AN ANNOTATED LIST OF BOOKS FROM A NORTH AMERICAN MICROSCOPIST'S LIBRARY
by David B.
I found Mike Samworth’s list of the books in his microscopy library very useful and have added several titles from it to my own growing library. Here I am presenting my own library list, which is more North American fauna oriented, but also contains the books that I have found useful from the earlier list. It obviously shows my very broad interests. (I should be more specialized!) However, I hope it is of similar use to amateur microscopists as Samworth’s list has been to me. Books also appearing on Mike Samworth’s list are marked with an *.
Barnes, R. D. 1987. Invertebrate Zoology., 5th ed. Saunders, Philadelphia, PA.
Standard college text that includes all microscopic invertebrates.
Boyer, C. S. 1973 (reprint of 1916 ed.). The Diatomaceae of Philadelphia and Vicinity. Henry Trip, Lafargeville, NY.
Reprint of an old classic.
Buchsbaum, R., M. Buchsbaum, J. Pearse and V. Pearse. 1987. Animals Without Backbones. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.
Dated, but well done review of “invertebrate” phyla, including Protozoa and other microscopic forms. Wonderful black and white photographs.
Brook, A. J. 1981. The Biology of Desmids. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
A classic treatment of desmid biology to 1981. I got my copy on remainder for next to nothing.
*Canter-Lund, H. & Lund, J., 1995. Freshwater Algae: their Microscopic World Explored. Biopress, Bristol.
This is a fantastic book for wherever you are. It is expensive and most easily available from Amazon UK, or Biopress but well worth the cost and the wait.
Christensen, C. M. 1965. The Molds and Man, 3rd ed. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN.
A good history of mostly microscopic fungi and their relationship to humans.
*Clegg, J. 1998. Observers' Guide to Pond Life. Penguin, London
As noted by Samworth, this is a little gem. While not totally useful in North America, it is inexpensive and has much better illustrations than is often the case in such small books. (David Walker shares his enthusiasm for the book here).
Cooke, M. C. 1902. Microscopic Fungi: Rust, Smut, Mildew and Mould. 4th ed. W. H. Allen & Co., London.
Another classic with graeat color illustrations.
*Corliss, J. O. 1979. The Ciliated Protozoa: Characterization,
Classification and Guide to the Literature. 2nd Edition. Pergamon, Oxford,
Very difficult to find and not cheap, it is very useful as a guide to the literature as of 1979, as well as a good review of historical Protozologists.
Cox, E. J. 1996. Identification of Freshwater Diatoms from Living Material. Chapman & Hall, London.
Pricey, especially for its size, I have heard good things about it but have not had the best opportunity to use it yet. I did hunt for a lower price and found it on the web.
Curtis, H. 1968. The Marvelous Animals: An Introduction to the Protozoa. Natural History Press, New York.
A great introduction to the protozoans.
Czarnecki, D. B., and D. W. Blinn. 1978. Diatoms of the Colorado River in Grand canyon National Park and Vicinity. J. Cramer, Germany.
A good manual for the Southwest, it was published in Germany—not in the United States!
*Dobell, C., 1958. Antony van Leeuwenhoek and his Little Animals. Russell & Russell, New York.
A great read for anyone interested in microscopy and its development.
*Donner, J, Rotifers. 1966. Warne, London.
This book is almost impossible to find anywhere. I have the English version as I read only a little German and it is quite rusty.
Dyer, B. D. 2003. A Field guide to Bacteria. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.
A wonderful introduction to non-pathogenic bacteria!
Farb, P. 1959. Living Earth. Harper & Row, New York.
An introduction to soil organisms.
Farmer, J. N. 1980. The Protozoa: Introduction to Protozology. C. V. Mosby, St. Louis, MO.
An old textbook with lots of nice illustrations.
*Ford, B.J., Single Lens: The story of the simple microscope. Harper and Row 1985.
Another great book on Leeuwenhoek. Like Samworth it inspired my current interest in microscopy.
*Gosse P. H., 1901. Evenings at the Microscope. P. F. Collier & Son, New York.
A classic Victorian introduction to microscopy.
Gravé, E. V. 1984. Discover the Invisible. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
A great introduction to microscopy in the Phalarope Books series.
*Griffith J. W. and A. Henfrey. 1883.The Micrographic Dictionary 4th Edition Vol 1 & 2 John Van Voorst, London.
A good book for an overview of 19th Century microscopy.
Hart, T. 2004. Microterrors: The Complete Guide to Bacterial, Viral and Fungal Infections that Threaten Our Health. Axis Pub. London.
A useful guide to the nasty microorganisms talked about daily in the news. Avoid these like the plague!
Hitchcock, R. 1881. Synopsis of the Fresh-Water Rhizopods. Hitchcock, New York.
A synopsis of Leidy’s classic work.
*Hogg, J., 1911. The Microscope: Its History, Construction and Applications.15th Edition, Routledge, London.
Another good review of 19th Century microscopy.
Hudler, G. W. 1998. Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
A great introduction to all sorts of fungi.
Hyman, L. H. 1940 and 1951. The Invertebrates. Vol. I. Protozoa through Ctenophora, Vol. II. Platyhelminthes and Rhynchocoela, Vol. III. Acanthocephala, Aschelminthes and Entoprocta. McGraw Hill, New York.
The classic set of the first three (of six) monumental works by Libbie Hyman on the invertebrates, these three volumes contain the major microscopic (as adults) phyla, including the now separate Protozoa, the rotifers and the gastrotrichs. Many illustrations by Libbie Hyman herself. While dated these are still very useful.
*Jahn, T.L., E. C. Bovee, and F. F. Jahn. 1979. How to Know the Protozoa.
2nd Edition,Wm C. Brown, Dubuque, Iowa.
The standard book for identification of protozoa, no matter where you are on the planet.
A good, but very dated, general guide to freshwater life in
the United States.
Kendrick, B. 2000. The Fifth Kingdom. Focus Pub., Newburyport, MA.
A thorough technical introduction to fungi.
Kudo, R. R. 1966. Protozology, 5th ed. Charles Thomas, Springfield, IL.
A bit dated, but still a good reference, especially if used with other books.
Large, E. C. 1962 (reprint of 1940 edition). Advance of the Fungi. Dover, New York.
A rather extensive history of the human relationship to microscopic fungi.
La Rivers, I. 1978. Algae of the Western Great Basin. University of Nevada Desert Research Institute.
Another local guide for the West.
Leidy, J. 1879. Freshwater Rhizopods of North America. United States Geological Survey.Volume 12.
An old standard with fantastic huge colored plates.
*Margulis, L., H. I. McKhann and L. Olendzenski. 1993. Illustrated Glossary of Protoctista. Jones and Bartlett, Boston.
Another difficult to find volume, but again worth the effort.
Margulis, L., and D. Sagan. 1997. Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Evolution from our Microbial Ancestors. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
A view of the “building block” theory of the development of life on earth.
Margulis, L., and K. V. Schwartz. 1998. Five Kingdoms: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth, 3rd ed. W. H. Freeman, New York.
A complex review of all living organisms on earth.
*Miall L. C. 1895. The Natural History of Aquatic Insects MacMillan & Co., London.
A classic work on aquatic insects that is still of interest today.
Money, N. P. 2002. Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard: The Mysterious World of
Mushrooms, Molds and Mycologists. Oxford University Press, Oxford,
The other great general introduction to fungi.
A different book entirely, written more from an ecological perspective than Klots' later volume. Quite dated, but still a classic, it only covers the larger microorganisms.
*Nachtigall, W., Exploring with the Microscope. Sterling, New York. 1995.
Now unfortunately out of print, this is probably the best introduction to microscopy around.
Needham, J. G., and P. R. Needham. 1962. A Guide to the Study of Fresh-Water Biology. Holden-Day, San Francisco, CA.
A short, but classic, guide to North American freshwater life, including many microorganisms.
Page, F. C. 1976. An Illustrated Key to Freshwater and Soil Amoebae. Freshwater Biological Association Scientific Publication No. 34, England.
Usable almost everywhere, but almost certainly incomplete. I suspect (as does the author) that there are many more species than we think.
Patrick, R., and C. W. Rreimer. 1966. The Diatoms of the United States,
Exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii. Vol. I. Academy of Natural Sciences of
If you ever want to buy this classic see if you can still get it from the Philadelphia Academy (where I bought mine). Otherwise you will pay a lot more!
*Patterson, D. J. 1998. Free-Living Freshwater Protozoa: A Colour Guide. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
A now indispensable volume to be used with Jahn, Bovee and Jahn and Kudo for identification. Many great color photos, most under phase contrast.
Pennnak, R. W. 1978. Fresh-Water Invertebrates of the United States, 2nd ed. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
The 3rd ed. did away with insects and the current ed. finished off Protozoa.
Postgate, J. 1992. Microbes and Man. 3rd ed. Cambridge University Press, England.
An excellent overall review of microbiology.
Prescott, G. W. 1970. How to Know the Freshwater Algae, 3rd ed. Wm. C. Brown, Dubuque, IA.
Another of the Picture Key Nature Series and another very useful one!
Pritchard, A. 1845 (probably a reprint of the 1842 edition). A History of
the Infusoria, Living and Fossil.Whittaker & Co., London.
An English translation and revision of Ehrenberg’s classic “Die Infusionsthierchen” with 12 hand-colored plates.
Purvis, W. 2000. Lichens. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.
Great introduction to lichens with wonderful color photos!
Schaller, F. 1968. Soil Animals. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI.
Another soil organism introduction.
Stali, G. 1970. The Microscope and How to Use it. Dover, New York.
A classic basic work on the subject.
Stephenson, S. L., and H. Stempen. 1994. Myxomycetes: A Handbook of Slime Molds. Timber Press, Portland OR.
A fascinating introduction to these enigmatic organisms.
Thorp, J. H., and A. P. Covich (eds.). 2001. Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates, 2nd ed. Academic Press, San Diego, CA.
This brings Pennak up to date as well as still including all the various taxa found in the 2nd ed. of that text.
Tudge, C. 2000. The Variety of Life: A Survey and a Celebration of All the Creatures that Have Ever Lived. Oxford University Press, Oxford, England.
A thorough review of the current ferment in higher classification, including microorganisms.
Vinyard, W. C. 1979. Diatoms of North America. Mad River Press, Eureka, CA.
A neat little guide to the diatoms and a cheap one too!
Ward, H. B., and G. C. Whipple. 1918 (1945 reprint). Fresh-Water Biology. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Another classic work that contains some still useful illustrations and descriptions.
Wehr, J. D., and R. G. Sheath. 2003. Freshwater Algae of North America: Ecology and Classification. Academic Press, Amsterdam.
The modern major source on the algae flora from Alaska to Guatemala! A bit pricey, but necessary for the study of North American species. A huge volume.
Werner, D. 1977. The Biology of Diatoms. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
Basic guide to the biology of diatoms as of 1977.
Whipple, G. C. (revised by G. M. Fair and M. C. Whipple) 1927. Microscopy of Drinking Water. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Still another classic with nice color plates.
Zimmer, C. 2000. Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature’s Most Dangerous Creatures. Simon & Shuster, New York.
A very readable introduction to parasites, including many that are microscopic or nearly so. However, if you have a weak stomach don’t read this!
Comments to the author,
David Richman, are welcomed.
I will be happy to discuss the various volumes
with anyone by e-mail.
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