Conserving America: A Bibliographical Guide to Printed
Material in the British Library Relating to American Environmental History
David J. Whittaker
The image of America as a land of unlimited resources exerted a strong influence on her explorers and settlers. It has been argued that this great economic abundance has helped shape the American character. The harvesting of the rich soils, forest, animal and mineral wealth have surely given Americans a lifestyle envied the world over. But these have also helped to create a sense of wastefulness, materialism, gluttony, and environmental pollution. And some argue that their exploration has fostered economic and social inequality.
One of the fascinating aspects of American history is the emergence of an environmental movement. From the game and forest cutting restrictions of colonial America, to the growing environmental conscientiousness in the nineteenth century to the growing institutional responses to these problems in the twentieth century, the story is as filled with significance for the present and the future.
The purpose of this bibliography is to list the significant studies of American Environment History found in the British Library. Because no clear line can be drawn between conservation, reclamation, ecology and natural history, each is included. This bibliography does not contain references to all the holdings on the topic in the British Library, but the serious student will find the most significant studies herein. And because environmental issues are international in scope, a comparative section is included as well. Finally a chronology of events and governmental legislation is provided.
Conserving America (PDF format), 412KB