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Johann Friedrich Blumenbach - bibliography

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German naturalist and anthropologist, born May 11, 1752, Gotha; died January 22, 1840, Göttingen.


  • De generis humani varietate nativa liber.
    Gottingae, A. Vandenhoeck, 1775.
    Second edition, 1781. Third edition, 1895.
    English translation: On the Natural Varieties of Mankind.
    In Blumenbach, The anthropological treatises . . . translated by T. Bendyshe, London, 1865. Reprinted 1969.
    In this, his doctoral dissertation, Blumenbach classified mankind into four races, based on selected combinations of head shape, skin colour and hair form. In the second edition he found it necessary to expand this division into five races, but his famous terms ”Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American, and Malayan” were not used until the third edition of 1795.
  • Handbuch der Naturgeschichte. 1779.
  • Ueber den Bildungstrieb (Nisus formativus) und seinen Einfluss auf die Generation und Reproduction.
    Göttingisches Magazin der Wissenschaften, 1780; 2: 240.
  • Über den Bildungstrieb und das Zeugungsgeschäft.
    Göttingen, J. C. Dieterich, 1781. English translation, London [1792?]
    In this work Blumenbach rejected the ”preformation” theory and advanced the theory of epigenesis as the true explanation of the phenomenon of embryological development.
  • Medicinische Bibliothek. 3 volumes.
    Göttingen, J. C. Dieterich, 1783-1795.
    Includes detailed abstract of periodical literature.
  • Introductio in historiam medicinae litterarium.
    Gottingae, J. C. Dieterich, 1786.
    An annotated subject bibliography, arranged chronologically from antiquity to Blumenbach's time.
  • Geschichte und Beschreibung der Knochen des menschlichen Körpers.
    Göttingen, 1786.
  • Institutiones physiologicae. Göttingen, 1787.
  • Beyträge zur Naturgeschichte.
    2 parts. Göttingen, 1790.1811. English translation, London, 1865.
  • Collectionis suae craniorum diversarum gentium illustratae decades.
    Gottingae, J. C. (H.) Dieterich, 1790-1828.
    Blumenbach was the founder of craniology, and his craniological collection served as the principal foundation for his investigations into the natural history of mankind. He used the norma verticalis, the shape of the skull as seen from above, as the means of distinguishing three types: Mongols, Negroes, and Caucasians.
  • Handbuch der vergleichenden Anatomie. Göttingen, H. Dieterich, 1805.
  • Beyträge zur Naturgeschichte. 2 volumes; Göttingen, 1806-1811.
  • Geschichte und Beschreibung der Knochen des menschlichen Körpers.
    Göttingen 1807.
    Blumenbach's noteworthy book on human osteology contains his original description of the base of the skull immediately posterior to the sella turcica (clivus Blumenbachi).
  • The Anthropological Treatises of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach.
    London, 1865; reprinted 1969.
  • K. F. H. Marx:
    Zum Andenken an Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, eine Gedächtnissrede, gehalten in der Sitzung der königlichen Societät der Wissenschaften am 8. Juli 1840.
    Göttingen, 1840. Also in Abhandlungen der königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, 1843, volume I. Obituaries:
  • Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, volume II, pp. 748-751, Leipzig, 1875.
  • Bernhard Schuchardt (1823-1911), in Correspondenz-Blätter des Allgemeinen ärztlichen Vereins von Thüringen, 1887.

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