Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 11.djvu/492

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sixth of all the known species. It is especially rich in African and South American kinds, collected, at great expense, by expeditions sent out by the baron at his sole charge.

In Dresden, world-renowned for its galleries of art, and for museums illustrative of kindred departments, one would naturally look for a correspondingly rich Natural History Museum, Still, small and disappointing as the Dresden Museum of Natural History is, it contains the typical collections in oölogy of the late Dr. Thienemann, and therefore cannot be passed by in total silence. This museum has been recently placed under the charge of Dr. Adolf B. Meyer, a distinguished ornithological explorer in New Zealand, and his accession has already been followed by reconstructions full of promise. The Thienemann oölogical collection is an immense one, has been gathered from all parts of the world, and contains all the types of his illustrated work on oölogy. Unfortunately, in the latter part of his life he suffered his vast collection to lapse into great disorder. He ceased to continue a systematic arrangement; successive additions were but partially unpacked, and the identifications of many forever lost, or rendered doubtful. After Dr. Thienemann's death his family presented his collection, in this chaotic condition, to the Royal Museum, and time has but added to the confusion. Labels have been misplaced, and the best of experts cannot always restore them with certainty. Nevertheless there are still materials for creating by far the largest and richest public oölogical collection in Europe. It abounds in very rare and choice kinds; among others, no less than seven eggs of the ivory gull—an egg so rare that only two others are known to be in any museums, one in Dublin and one in Copenhagen.

The extensive museum of Berlin, owing to the inclemency of the weather and the rooms not being heated, could only be partially and hastily examined. The general plan of arrangement was simple and good, and the specimens appeared to be in excellent condition. It possesses a small but valuable and well-arranged collection of eggs, in which the great point of interest is a series of nests and eggs from Siberia, collected by a man of science exiled to that desolate region; many of these are very rare and unknown to other collections. The mineralogical collection is one of the most extensive on the Continent, and is especially rich in meteorolites. Its great interest centres in the collections brought by Humboldt from Central and South America. Dr. William Peters, a distinguished naturalist, is at the head of this museum, and the ornithology is under the charge of the venerable John Cabanis, who ranks high in his department, and is well known as the editor of the Journal of Ornithology.

The Imperial Cabinet of Natural History of Vienna deserves fuller mention than our space permits. Its vast collections would require almost a lifetime to examine exhaustively, and no single volume could do justice to all their various points of interest. Indeed, a