'A highlight of this collection are the wonderful works which resulted from a study undertaken in the 1880's by George Brown Goode, Deputy Commissioner of the United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries. The purpose of this study was to capture the state of the American fisheries at that time and to use the knowledge gained as a base line for future studies. Goode admirably succeeded in this, but at the same time he also captured an interesting segment of Nineteenth Century Americana and helped describe a significant part of the marine environment.
The two atlases of illustrations had 532 etchings between them that illustrated the various species of marine mammals, fish, and shellfish that were considered to be of economic value at that time and also illustrated the state of fishing vessels, fishing gear, fishing methods, and fish processing. Many of these etchings are beautiful works of art that transcend the original purpose of describing a species or capturing the fishing technology of the times. In fact, it is worthwhile to view many of the high resolution photographs by clicking below the 700-pixel wide image to grasp the level of detail, time, and care associated with producing many of the plates in the two atlases.'