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Collecting, Recording and Preserving the Natural World from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-First Century
Volume Editor: Arthur MacGregor
Interposed between the natural world in all its diversity and the edited form in which we encounter it in literature, imagery and the museum, lie the multiple practices of the naturalists in selecting, recording and preserving the specimens from which our world view is to be reconstituted. The factors that weigh at every stage are here dissected, analysed and set within a historical narrative that spans more than five centuries. During that era, every aspect evolved and changed, as engagement with nature moved from a speculative pursuit heavily influenced by classical scholarship to a systematic science, drawing on advanced theory and technology. Far from being neutrally objective, the process of representing nature is shown as fraught with constraint and compromise.

With a Foreword by Sir David Attenborough

Contributors are: Marie Addyman, Peter Barnard, Paul D. Brinkman, Ian Convery, Peter Davis, Felix Driver, Florike Egmond, Annemarie Jordan Gschwend, Geoff Hancock, Stephen Harris, Hanna Hodacs, Stuart Houston, Dominik Huenniger, Rob Huxley, Charlie Jarvis, Malgosia Nowak-Kemp, Shepard Krech III, Mark Lawley, Arthur Lucas, Marco Masseti, Geoff Moore, Pat Morris, Charles Nelson, Robert Peck, Helen Scales, Han F. Vermeulen, and Glyn Williams.
The Innovative Water Supply Systems of Toledo, London and Paris in the Second Half of the Sixteenth Century
In A Tale of Three Thirsty Cities: The Innovative Water Supply Systems of Toledo, London and Paris in the Second Half of the Sixteenth Century, Chaim Shulman presents an analysis of three projects of urban water supply systems carried out between 1560s–1610s. The technical and economic differences between these projects resulted from external conditions not directly related to the water supply problem. Although the same basic technology was apparently available at the time in all cases, the geographical, engineering, entrepreneurial and cultural nature of each region differed. The inhabitants’ wellbeing improvement achieved varied accordingly. Much broader insights are drawn on the policies of the three monarchies regarding the initiative of and support for grand scale public works in general.
Materials, Governance and Production, 1760-1840
Volume Editors: Lissa Roberts and Simon Werrett
Compound Histories: Materials, Governance and Production, 1760-1840 offers a new view of the period during which Europe took on its modern character and globally dominant position. By exploring the intertwined realms of production, governance and materials, it places chemists and chemistry at the center of processes most closely identified with the construction of the modern world. This includes the interactive intensification of material and knowledge production; the growth and management of consumption; environmental changes, regulation of materials, markets, landscapes and societies; and practices embodied in political economy. Rather than emphasize revolutionary breaks and the primacy of innovation-driven change, the volume highlights the continuities and accumulation of incremental changes that framed historical development.

Contributors are: Robert G.W. Anderson, Bernadette Bensaude Vincent, José Ramón Bertomeu Sánchez, John R.R. Christie, Joppe van Driel, Frank A.J.L. James, Christine Lehman, Lissa L. Roberts, Thomas le Roux, Elena Serrano, Anna Simmons, Marie Thébaud-Sorger, Sacha Tomic, Andreas Weber, Simon Werrett.
Author: Bo Poulsen
By accident, the world-famous brewery Carlsberg became a central force in global marine science during the first three decades of the 20th century. Within a core group of scientists and managers, Johannes Schmidt (1877-1933) was the key figure combining the efforts of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the Danish state and several private companies. Launching 26 oceangoing expeditions Schmidt made landmark discoveries such as the breeding ground for the Atlantic eel in the Sargasso Sea. The scientific frontier was pushed literally kilometres into the deep sea and across the World’s oceans. While the formal North Atlantic Empire of the small state of Denmark was in decline, an informal empire of science was erected instead.

Shortlisted for the Society for Nautical Research Anderson Medal for published works on Maritime History in 2016.
In Colonial Survey and Native Landscapes in Rural South Africa, 1850 - 1913, Lindsay Frederick Braun explores the technical processes and struggles surrounding the creation and maintenance of boundaries and spaces in South Africa in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The precision of surveyors and other colonial technicians lent these enterprises an illusion of irreproachable objectivity and authority, even though the reality was far messier.

Using a wide range of archival and printed materials from survey departments, repositories, and libraries, the author presents two distinct episodes of struggle over lands and livelihoods, one from the Eastern Cape and one from the former northern Transvaal. These cases expose the contingencies, contests, and negotiations that fundamentally shaped these changing South African landscapes.
Volume Editor: Scott Bruce
The field of premodern environmental history (the study of the complex and ever-changing interrelationship between human beings and the world around them prior to the Industrial Revolution) has grown vigorously over the past two decades, in no small part due to the energy and expertise of Richard C. Hoffmann (York University, Canada). In this collection, historians of medieval and early modern Europe and social scientists with a sensitivity to the use of historical information present their current research in honor of Richard C. Hoffmann's retirement from teaching. The result is a panoramic and dynamic view of the state of the field of premodern environmental history by leading practitioners. The papers are organized under the broad themes of "Premodern People and the Natural World" and "Aquatic Ecosystems and Human Economies".

Contributors are Richard W. Unger, Paolo Squatriti, William Chester Jordan, Petra J.E.M. van Dam, Verena Winiwarter, Maryanne Kowaleski, Constance H. Berman, Pierre Claude Reynard, Wim Van Neer, and Anton Ervynck.
A peer-reviewed forum for interdisciplinary studies in history of human and nature relations, using primarily historical methodologies, covering changes in the biological and physical environments, views of nature and what they say about a society, and political environmental history. The scope includes historical and archaeological studies and the history of ideas and medicine. The chronology is wide: a world perspective is taken.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts by email to the publisher Stefan Einarson or to the series editor Dr. Aleks Pluskowski (University of Reading, U.K.). For information on how to submit a book proposal, please consult the Brill Author Guide.
On the Controversy over the Microbiological Identity of Plague Epidemics of the Past
Author: Ole Benedictow
In recent decades, alternatives to the established bubonic-plague theory have been presented as to the microbiologcal identity and mechanism(s) of spread of historical plague epidemics. In this monograph, the six important alternative theories are intensively discussed in the light of the historical sources, the central primary studies and standard works on bubonic plague and the alternative microbiological agents, insofar as they are testable. These seven theories are incompatible and at least six of them must be untenable. In the author’s opinion, the arguments against the bubonic-plague theory and for all alternative theories are untenable. This monograph therefore also has been written also as a standard work on bubonic plague, giving a broad and in-depth presentation of the medical, epidemiological and historical evidence and the methodological tenets for identification of historical diseases by comparison with modern medical knowledge.