Vintage Zoo Guidebook, 1895
What better way to enjoy a warm spring day than a trip to the local zoo? This week’s Smithsonian Snapshot highlights the Smithsonian Institution Libraries collection of vintage zoo guidebooks and pamphlets from around the world.
The collection from the National Zoological Park branch of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries has 1,000 brochures, guidebooks, maps, drawings and photographs from 30 states and 40 countries.
In addition to serving as educational facilities, zoos have also doubled as recreation areas and amusement parks as illustrated on the front cover of this 1895 guidebook from the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens in England. Animal rides, sporting events and even ballroom dancing were held on zoo grounds in an era when visiting a zoo often meant a daylong trip outside of the city limits.
Many of the items in this collection were collected by former directors and staff from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The promotional nature of the publications also demonstrates the history of graphic design, illustration and advertising used by public and private institutions throughout the years.
This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not on display. For more information about these vintage zoo publications, visit the Smithsonian Institution Libraries “Zoos: A Historical Perspective,” online exhibition website.
To learn more about how the Smithsonian demonstrates leadership in animal care, science, education and sustainability, visit the National Zoo’s website.

Vintage Zoo Guidebook, 1895

What better way to enjoy a warm spring day than a trip to the local zoo? This week’s Smithsonian Snapshot highlights the Smithsonian Institution Libraries collection of vintage zoo guidebooks and pamphlets from around the world.

The collection from the National Zoological Park branch of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries has 1,000 brochures, guidebooks, maps, drawings and photographs from 30 states and 40 countries.

In addition to serving as educational facilities, zoos have also doubled as recreation areas and amusement parks as illustrated on the front cover of this 1895 guidebook from the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens in England. Animal rides, sporting events and even ballroom dancing were held on zoo grounds in an era when visiting a zoo often meant a daylong trip outside of the city limits.

Many of the items in this collection were collected by former directors and staff from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The promotional nature of the publications also demonstrates the history of graphic design, illustration and advertising used by public and private institutions throughout the years.

This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not on display. For more information about these vintage zoo publications, visit the Smithsonian Institution Libraries “Zoos: A Historical Perspective,” online exhibition website.

To learn more about how the Smithsonian demonstrates leadership in animal care, science, education and sustainability, visit the National Zoo’s website.

  1. nyworldsfaircollections reblogged this from smithsonian and added:
    This month we’re sharing Guides to the New York World’s Fairs as well as re-blogging other vintage and rare guides from...
  2. alwaysalbrecht reblogged this from thisisanartproject
  3. thisisanartproject reblogged this from smithsonian
  4. treafrog reblogged this from smithsonian
  5. themisofpumpkinpie reblogged this from smithsonian
  6. atotallydifferenthead reblogged this from smithsonian
  7. torithetrendyturtle reblogged this from smithsonian
  8. diogenesclub reblogged this from smithsonian
  9. adventuresinblunderland reblogged this from smithsonian
  10. niczka reblogged this from smithsonian
  11. lazyaplles reblogged this from smithsonian
  12. confidenceinhighspeed reblogged this from smithsonian
  13. smithsonian posted this