Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000

von Humboldt, Alexander - A first edition of Kosmos in two volumes, 1847

Von Humboldt (1769-1859) is said to be the greatest of the geographer - explorers of the nineteenth century. This first edition of Kosmos in two volumes (Kosmos : Entwurf einer physischen Weltbeschreibung) includes a dedication to Richard Schomburgk which gives this treasure a direct connection between Adelaide and the international science community.

RGSSA Catalogue rgsp 500.9 H919 (Vol1&2) 1845-1858

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This 1847 edition of Kosmos was presented by von Humboldt to Richard Schomburgk, the Director of the Adelaide Botanical Gardens, who had been associated with von Humboldt in scientific researches in South America. The dedication reads: 'To the distinguished traveller Herr Richard Schomburgk whose scientific observations contributed so greatly to many fields of science: with affection, Alexander von Humboldt.'

Alexander von Humboldt, in full Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander, Freiherr (baron) von Humboldt, (born September 14, 1769, Berlin, Prussia [now in Germany]—died May 6, 1859, Berlin), German naturalist and explorer who was a major figure in the classical period of physical geography and biogeography—areas of science now included in the Earth sciences and ecology. With his book Kosmos he made a valuable contribution to the popularization of science. The Humboldt Current off the west coast of South America was named after him.