This post will be of interest to the small subset of scientists that cherish ol’ skool analog anatomical work…folks like me. A few years ago, we “discovered” Ghetie’s Anatomical Atlas of Domestic Birds. Published in 1976 in Bucharest, Romania, this treasure trove of bird structure has flown under the radar for most avian anatomists. It’s a tremendously useful volume in that it illustrates with deceptively simple black-and-white drawings the detailed anatomical structure of a range of domesticated birds. There’s virtually no text, but the explanations of the illustrations are in English, French, Romanian, and Russian. All the anatomical structures are labeled in the familiar (for many of us) Latin. As a one-time avian nomenclator, I should have been well aware of this book, and so I’m embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t. But, with some trepidation, I’m now making it freely available as a PDF download.
Laying hands on this resource
I became aware of this book when Taka Tsuihiji (currently at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo) was a postdoctoral researcher in my lab (2006–2008). Taka has an amazing library of vintage anatomical and paleontological texts, but, for Ghetie’s atlas, all he had was an old stained and tattered photocopy in a three-ring binder. Still, it was a revelation to see it. I managed to find an original volume on interlibrary loan, and then painstakingly made the best scan-to-PDF copy I possibly could.
The decision to share
We’ve sat on this PDF for years, but recently I made the decision to share it on the internet (DOWNLOAD IT HERE: 15.6 MB). Of course the concern was whether I have the legal right to do so, and, to be honest, I’m still not entirely sure. If anyone has information suggesting that I should not make this available, please let me know. A couple years ago, I investigated the matter pretty seriously. The volume itself has no clear sign of copyright. I searched the internet for information about the publishing house, which appears to be a governmental agency. I searched for information on Ghetie’s family to seek permission. I came up empty on all counts, and so it seemed to be in the public domain, but still I sat on it. Lately, I’ve decided to make it available. I put myself in the shoes of the authors…scholars, above all, want their work to be used and valued. So here it is. Enjoy.