The Feathery Tribe: Robert Ridgway and the Modern Study of Birds

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Biography of Robert Ridgway (1850-1929), ornithologist and curator of birds at the Smithsonian Institution's United States National Museum. Ridgway was a talented scientific illustrator and known for his work on color standardization in natural history. The work traces the development of systematic ornithology in the second half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, and Ridgway's role in professionalizing and standardizing ornithological research. It also addresses the creation of the American Ornithologists Union and Ridgway's influence on its journal, The Auk.


  • Ridgway, Robert 1850-1929
  • United States National Museum
  • United States National Museum Dept. of Birds
  • American Ornithologists' Union
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Dept. of Zoology
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Dept. of Vertebrate Zoology


Smithsonian History Bibliography

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Animals
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Birds
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • Biology
  • History
  • Scientific illustration
  • Ornithologists
  • Museum curators
  • Ornithology
  • Ornithology--History
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


  • United States
  • North America





Physical description

Number of pages : 373; Page numbers : 1-346

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