S mall in number of volumes, but massive in visual impact, the books in the John Golden Library meticulously integrate natural history, travel, and Americana into a visually mesmerizing representation of the apex of the illustrated book in the golden age of scientific discovery. Botany, ornithology, and zoology—navigation, exploration, and travel—medicine, agriculture, and gardening—cartography, ethnology, dendrology, and lepidopterology—virtually every aspect of human investigation of the natural world from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries is illuminated in this collection, from the constellations in the heavens to the shells of the mollusks in the depths of the sea.
One component of the John Golden Library deserves special recognition is the distinguished provenance of so many of the books. The library is built of copies from many of the most celebrated single-owner book auctions of the last four decades: Robert de Belder, H. Bradley Martin, Estelle Doheny, Peter Jay Sharp, Nicolas Von Hoffman, Frank S. Streeter, Laird U. Park, George M. Pflaumer, William Foyle, Árpád Plesch, Michael J. Kuse, Lord Wardington, Jacques Levy, and Frederick, 2nd Lord Hesketh.