I have done the work reflected here because I found it fun.
The associations with the people who have helped me, and the pleasure of
finding things out have sustained, stimulated, motivated and pleased me.
A number of influences deserve special mention.
Above all, my father Arnold P.G. Peterson, DSc. His careful attention to detail,
his ability to recognize unexpected patterns, his patient persistence, and his
ability to set frustrations aside remain standards which on my best days
I only occasionally approach.
The real inspiration for this particular project was Burt Monroe, Jr.
I started creating an avian taxonomic dataset out of an interest in the
frequency of monospecific genera and speculations on
the implications implied by that distribution of number-of-species-per-genus.
While assembling and looking at data to address this question, I identified a few
dates of publication that were listed wrong in various sources. I turned to Burt
for confirmation of these.
Soon we were talking on the phone almost everyday, and
my body of nomenclatural data and list of possible errors grew.
The availability of the Richmond Index on microfiche provided a titanic
boost to the effort, and Burt and I resolved to include full
citations for all the taxa to be included in the "next edition" of
Sibley & Monroe. Burt's death occurred long before this could progress beyond
the stage of airy persiflage.
Just before Burt died, I promised him I would publish the data I had been
working on. At that time I had not considered presenting the data on the web,
and now often think of the excitement and enthusiasm Burt would have for this
The other person remarkably responsible for this site, is Scott Lanyon.
At some meeting, I complained to him of the problems I wrestled with he said:
"Just publish it on the web."
He went on to describe in detail the characteristics he wanted the site and the
data to have. Some of his suggestions are represented here, some not.
The internet also made possible contacts across the world.
Creative, energetic and wonderful people have answered questions, solved
mysteries, and caught many of my foolish errors.
Deserving of special mention, and missed almost every week is Rex Banks, who
as the head librarian of the British Museum (Natural History), solved some
of my most difficult and long standing puzzles. Rex also provided contacts
worldwide, from Mrs Effie Warr at Tring, to Carlo Violani in Italy to
obscure libraries in Moscow.
The list below is woefully incomplete, much much too late in being added to the site
and still incomplete.
My apologies to those whom I have not (yet) listed.
The order in which names are listed is roughly chronological.
- Robin Sinn at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences Library
extensively researched the dates of publication for the Proceedings.
- Rolf de By has frequently kept me aware of recent developments in new
species descriptions, changing ideas of species concepts, as well as catching typographic
- Norbert Bahr enthusiastic use of knowledge of the European and world literature
produced a long list of useful correspondence.
- Carlo Violani, who solved many obscure mysteries relating to
Salvadori, and some of the earliest European authors.
- Colin Jones, with his remarkably sharp eye for detail picked up many errors,
his fastidious acquaintance with the monographic literature remains most helpful. Colin
has helped me correct more errors than anyone else, by far.
- Dick Banks at the Smithsonian has always been helpful, instructive and kind
on many nomenclatural matters.
- Ralph Browning, whose careful and extensive historical researches deserve wider attention.
- Walter J. Bock, my good friend and always one whom I have relied
on to see through the nonsense.
- Roy McDiarmid, Curator of Herpetology at the Smithsonian Museum is more deeply involved in
this project than he has any idea. Having put up with innumerable phone calls and endless nomenclatural
- Scott Lanyon
- Matt Fain
- Marek Kuziemko
- Florence F.J.M. Pieters of Artis Bibliotheek for research on dates of publication.
- Per Alstrom
- Mrs F. E. Warr at Tring.
- The staff at the Library of the British Museum (Natural History)
- Dr Michael Brooke, for help with citational details from Mathews.
- Normand David, enormously helpful on matters of
nomenclature. His deep understanding and clear explanation
of issues of case/gender agreement, and familiarity with
the ICZN rules are a great benefit to the list.
- Murray Bruce for many suggestions, and much understanding.
- Donald Cunningham for bibliographic corrections.
- Alan Knox; Historic Collections; University of Aberdeen King's College; Aberdeen AB24 3SW for citation corrections.
- Aasheesh Pittie, Hyderabad India, for picking up some nomenclatural errors.
- Thomas Wetmore (the Wizard) for finding errors, for inspiration and motivation to get the orthography RIGHT,
and for seeing the potential of well structured data.
- Jan van der Brugge for finding a synonomy I had foolishly missed
and many additional helpful "pick-ups".
- Edward C. Dickinson, who's contributions to my work and understanding
can not be underestimated or sufficiently acknowledged.
- Steven Gregory for help with types and many bibliographic details.
- Laurel Peterson, my daughter, for help with work on L'Echo du Monde Savant, as well
as help with French translations, and expert help in understanding issues regarding
the history of plate publication.
- Missy Peterson, my wife, who has listened to my confused questions, helped with many
translations, helped with library research, and whose efforts at compiling a spreadsheet index
of Conspectus Generum Avium are remarkable and deserving of wide recognition.
- Martin Domdey for many bits of information and corrections.
- Richard Morris for help with biographical details.
- David Damkaer for providing biographical details.
- John F. Bosher of Ottawa, for biographical details.
- Clive Mann for his patience, and instruction in helping with
the revision of the Nectariniidae.
- Michael Rieser, for finding errors, asking GOOD questions, and providing scads of copy-editing help. Michael also has entered
all the subspecies in the Trochiliformes, and found many "infelicities" in Peters as a result.
- Fernando C. Straube, for help with Brasilian taxa
- Józef Hordowski, for help and details with biographies of Polish ornithologists
- Robert Dowsett for help with all aspects of African avian nomenclature; many questions answered
and many good biographical details.
- Daniel Philippe for help with the literature.
- Anna Latorre, documentalist for the HBW series, for corrections on biographical details
- Robert P. Hickling, for finding a duplicated taxon (how embarrasing....), for finding missing taxa, for picking up a spelling error, and also for
an excellent formatting suggestion.
- Ante Strand in Stockholm for confirmation of Gyldenstolpe publishing history, and help with Thunberg sources.
- R. Jayapal, Senior Research Fellow, Wildlife Institute of India, for bringing
some Pheasant taxonomic matters and helpful spelling corrections to my attention.
- William Peterson, for help with making tables work better.
- Dr Jiri Mlikovsky, Dept. Zool. National Museum Czech Republic for
correcting my interpretation of Tunstall name availability and for
supplying biographical information.
- Peter Lowther for helping me clean up unneeded data from some files as well as helping me stomp out
some of my typing errors and correct the html code in some areas.
- Jan J. Kluk for corrections on Fr. Jan K. Kluk's biography.
- Vitor Piacentini for corrections in the authority of some Brasilian bird names.
- Missy Peterson for doing all the hard work on the tables for PZS.
- Rob Hickling for help stomping out my many typo's.
- Slim Sreedharan, Field ornithologist, and Hon. Curator of Birds at the
Sarawak Museum in Malaysian Borneo. for picking up a citational discrepancy.
- David Seibel of Johnson County Community College for picking up some typographic errors.
- Dr David Donsker, who was a pathology resident with me, for supplying details from his collection
of Ornithological literature.
- Dave Chandler, for corrections on some biographical details
- David Nicolson, of IITS (who should be much higher on the list, as he started being helpful
LONG ago) for help in picking up errors, and spotting problems in my code, and providing
useful ideas and resources.
- Dr. Carlos Sanchez Oses of Bonn, for helping spot and correct spelling problems.
- Rainer Massmann for useful instruction on a philological point.
- John Penhallurick, not only for his excellent Bird Data Project site, but also for
multiple useful corrections and suggestions.
- Jirka Schmidt, for advising me of some taxonomic changes and for picking up some Cuban descriptive material.
- Denis Lepage of Avibase, for pointing out typographical errors and for helping me with
coordination of my Passerine files.
- Thomas Arndt for help with Parrot citations and for providing more Parrot information.
- Philip Griffin for rasing useful questions and pointing out some problems that relate to Cuckoo systematics and nomenclature.
- Robert B. Payne for answering questions about Cuckoo nomenclature and systematics.
- Mathew Louis for bringing some taxa to my attention that I had missed and for authority correction.
- Paul Cohen, of Stockholm, for enormous help with identifying formatting problems and
expert assistance in thinking about data management.
- Hans-Jürgen Altner for raising a useful question regarding Trochilid nomenclature.
- John Greig, from Australia, for identifying and asking some helpful questions on
the spelling of names.
- Kerry Marnell for great help with German Translations
- Additions and corrections to biographical data by Dr Rob C.H.M. Oudejans
- Jan B. Kaiser for catching subtle spelling errors (mostly that I made and would NOT have found). Jan also
has provided enormous help with orthography of citational source names, and details of authors names.
- Paul Davis for help with biographical corrections and the additions of many biographical details.
- Joseph Warnier for help in catching and correcting a number of errors.
- Liam Hughes for bringing taxonomic revisions to my attention.
- Mark Brown for bringing citational uncertainties to my attention and for helping me
undestand the details involved.
- Peter Kasper for picking up some inconsistencies and lapses and for picking up some spelling errors.
- Keith Bennett for picking up an 'infelicitous' duplication.
- Laurent Raty (Brussels, Belgium) for help in correcting overlooked systematics changes.
- Alain Guimond of Montreal, for providing the details of a newly described Scytalopus and for additional
details on original descriptions.
- Olav Runde for citation correction help
- Rainer Massmann for corrections and bringing my attention to important bibliographic and nomenclatural details.
- Nacho Areta for his kind words of support and for some spelling corrections.
- Peter Kovalik for spotting a genus group gender mistake on my part, and for
providing literature in support explanatory for some nomenclatural problems.
- Peter Coxhead for a correction on biographical details on Bloxam.
- Colin Clark for pointing out other blunders on my part.
- Janet Hinshaw for correcting some references to the Wilson Bulletin.
- Fred Ruhe for clarification of some nomenclatural issues.
- Gastone Rabascini for picking up a good number of errors and for helpful suggestions.
- Lothar Lorenz for spelling correction and picking up missing entries and formatting lapses.
- Stephen M. Smith for spelling correction.
- Martin Schneider for correcting an authorial citation.
- S. Pryor for help with correctin author name misinterpretation.
- Bjorn Bergenholtz helped direct me to solve a number of citational mysteries.
- Jean-Pierre Lebel for spotting web site structure errors.
- Hua Siong Ong for bringing an important ICZN decision to my attention.
- Wayne N.W. Longmore for help with citation correction.
- Dr Ursula Franke for picking up some of my fumble fingered typographical errors.
- Michael Frankis for also picking up fumble fingered typographical errors.
- Subir Bahadur Shakya for correction help.
Comments&Suggestions to Data Steward