Monday, January 19, 2009

Malayan tapir at Artis Zoo, Amsterdam - March 1971

Malayan tapir photo
by L.C. Rookmaaker, March 1971

I scanned this from a faded old photo, so the colors have changed over the years - and that's actually the point. My interest in tapirs started in 1968, and during the early years, and then again starting in 1996, I've accumulated tapir archives and collectibles - images, printed materials, notes. Besides those I've collected myself and with Bob in the early years, people from around the world have been kind enough to send info and pictures for these many years. It takes a long time to put it all on a web site, and less time to put it in online albums and on blogs. But it does take time. One of my goals this year is to put these materials online where people can find and use them. You never know what bit of historical data will interest someone or help in their research.

Many of the photos, like this one, are faded. Other materials are in perfect condition. I wish I could say I still had every bit of tapir material I'd received since 1968, but a few things have been lost or destroyed. Years ago there was, unfortunately, a fire where some of our tapir things were kept from the early days. Some were destroyed, although many escaped the flames. These events are a good reminder that it's time to make use of digital storage and distribution. So . . . here we go. In moving the files to a more accommodating location for working on them, I found a number of pictures of Stanley K. Tapir that I thought were lost. This is going to be fun for me, and hopefully helpful and fun for tapir fans and researchers. I'll post on the blog and the Tapirs Google Group when I've uploaded a large chunk or something I think will be of special interest. L.C. Rookmaaker, who sent the tapir photo above, also sent copious notes throughout our early years of tapir study. These mainly related to tapirs in various collections. Especially interesting were some of the early records. I've been out of touch with L.C. for many years, but I noticed his work on rhino documentation has been posted online as recently as 2007. L.C., wherever you are, I have fond memories of our correspondence and your valuable help in the 1960s and 1970s!

The photo above can also be seen in my Web Album of Malayan Tapir photos. Each species also has an album devoted to art and craft and to natural history. The captions are not typed yet. That's another part of the project! Let's see how much I can get done this year.

~ Sheryl

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