The 'Transactions of the Watford Natural History Society and Hertfordshire Field Club' is an august publication, combining resolute provincialism with a universality of theme such that it draws down naturally upon great admiration from Midnight Oil Books, being in line to a considerable degree with our aspirations for the 'Pathhead Review'.
Our own copy of Volume Two dates from 1880 and covers the proceedings from October 1877 to July 1879. It was published in London by David Bogue and there appears the detail; 'Watford: Sold at the Public library, Queen's Road.' The Editor of the said volume was John Hopkinson, F.L.S, F.G.S. Proceedings in truth are confined to the final sixteen pages, with the vast majority of the bound volume's content being given over to scholarly articles on various themes relating to the weather, flora and fauna of the county.
From what we can piece together from Copac records, it was published from 1875-1880 by Hardwicke and Bogue of London. The fullest of the c. fifteen records is the joint one by the Univeristy of Cambridge and the National Library of Scotland, which I quote here in full:
Title Details: Transactions of the Hertfordshire Natural History Society and
Field Club Continues: Watford Natural
History Society and Hertfordshire Field Club. Transactions of the Watford
Natural History Society and Hertfordshire Field Club Continued by: Hertfordshire
Natural History Society and Field Club. [Transactions (Hertfordshire Natural
History Society and Field Club)]
Publisher: London : Gurney & Jackson,
Physical desc.: 28v. : ill ; 22 cm
ISSN: 03753409 THNHA6
Note: 1875-1901 in v. 10; 1875-1914 in v. 15 1976 Classified subject index
Description based on: Vol. 5 (Nov. 1887/Oct. 1889); title from vol. t.p Editor:
18 - , J. Hopkinson Indexes include the 2 vols. of the Transactions of the
Watford Natural History Society and Hertfordshire Field Club None published in
Copies may be found at the university libraries of Leeds, Oxford, Liverpool, Trinity College, Dublin, UCL, Imperial College London, and at theNational Library of Scotland and British Museum. Although not all would appear to be complete.
The description of from the Leeds University records is also worth quoting here at length as it gives an indication of the care that was taken with the binding and production of the book itself, something that has perhaps done something to aid the survival of the volume currently in our care.
Watford : Public library ; Hertford : Stephen Austin and Sons, printers, 1875-
Note: Coverage from 1875 Full-cloth (red); red-sprinkled edges; vol. 2 is half-leather with marbled boards, red-sprinkled edges and boards detached from spine Plates (some col.), fold. map Supplementary title pages to vols 1 and 2 give publication dates as 1878 and 1880 respectively
At some point publication was taken over by Riverside in Twickenham.
The Society continues to this day as the Hertfordshire Natural History Society, while the publication continues as 'The Hertfordshire Naturalist'. Its website, looking back writes:
Despite the effects of two World Wars, its reputation for natural historytbc
studies grew in the 20th century, and the results were published in its journal,
previously the "Transactions of the Hertfordshire Natural History Society", now
"The Hertfordshire Naturalist". National figures such as Sir Edward Salisbury,
late Director of Kew, and pioneer of ecology as a subject, was Recorder for
Botany, and published some important papers in the journal. Other national
figures included Charles Oldham, well-known for mollusc studies and for bird
studies, F. W. Edwards, of the Natural History Museum, as Recorder for flies,
and R. B. Benson, also of the Natural History Museum, as Recorder for sawflies.