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Going east. Gustave Loisel and the networks of exchange between zoological gardens before 1914

AuthorsHochadel, Oliver
KeywordsGustave Loisel (1864-1933)
Zoological Gardens
Issue Date2020
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationInterurban Knowledge Exchange in Southern and Eastern Europe, 1870-1950 : (2020)
AbstractGustave Loisel (1864-1933) is known as the first historian of zoological gardens. His Histoire des ménageries (1912), still a work of reference today, actually emanated from extensive journeys in the years between 1906 and 1910 as an envoy of the French state. This article focuses on Loisel’s “field research” in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. He found a number of zoological institutions in Stockholm, Breslau (Wrocław), Budapest and Tsarist Russia exemplary – and suggested to his French superiors to take notice with respect to the planned reforms of the Paris zoo. Loisel’s interests were comprehensive: he had his eyes set on organizational and economical issues, on zoo architecture and as well as on animal keeping, i.e. how to breed, feed and acclimatize them best. In fact, analysing Loisel’s voluminous work, zoological gardens may best be understood as an interurban and transnational institution in which “best practices” were intensely discussed not only on a European but on a global scale. The constant exchange of best practice models through visits, letters and publications was by no means unidirectional. This article illustrates that the so-called “periphery” could provide ideas and blueprints considered worth of emulation for the “centre”, in this case Paris.
DescriptionHochadel, Oliver. "Going East: Gustave Loisel and the Networks of Exchange Between Zoological Gardens Before 1914". En: Gantner, Eszter; Hein-Kircher, Heidi & Hochadel, Oliver (eds.). Interurban Knowledge Exchange in Southern and Eastern Europe, 1870–1950. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2020. ISBN 978-0-367-33329-4.
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