Founded in 1974 by Paul Nigel Harris, Harrowood Books continued the publishing program of Livingston Publishing Company in the fields of ornithology and ichthyology. Their first reprint, the major work FISHES OF THE BAHAMAS by Böhlke & Chaplin was an instant sellout and the subsequent publishing of Chapln and Scott's FISHWATCHERS GUIDE TO WEST ATLANTIC CORAL REEFS offered the world's first underwater guide! Printed on plastic and bound with stainless steel staples, its illustrations by one of the world's foremost nature artists, Sir Peter Scott, were unsurpassed and the book was a bestseller which was featured on the Today Show.
Harrowood continued to publish world-class birding guides such as Richard ffrench's GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO with outstanding artwork by such luminaries as John P. O'Neill and Don Richard Eckelberry.
In 1989, Harrowood Books published the landmark SOUTH AMERICAN BIRDS, A Photographic Guide to Identification by John S. Dunning. Over many decades, Dunning travelled to South America where he captured, photographed and released most of the 1400 birds illustrated in the book. With the help of range maps produced by Robert S. Ridgely, the book became a bestseller. The Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club described Dunnning's work as "a remarkable achievement." Widlife Consultant, Don Heintzelman wrote: "It is extremely rare in the history of ornithology and bird watching that a book is published that creates a revolution in the study and conservation of birds on an entire continent. This book will do just that."
Other books by Harrowood which have garnered praise are:
HYBRIDS AND HYBRIDIZERS, Rhododendrons and Azaleas for Eastern North America by West & Livingston
- "surely this beautiful volume must have more information on The topic the title denotes than any other work in print." (CHOICE, American Library Association)
- "The best general book for rhododendron specialists or general gardeners interested in the species..." (Pennsylvania Horticultural Society)
HADDONFIELD HISTORIC HOMES by The Haddonfield Preservation Society.
- "a stunning volume; its historical content, breathtaking photography and the gripping story of a town's effort to save its architectural treasures from the developers' shovels will become legend in southern New Jersey where this elegant town has taken its place alongside Cape May as a jewel to be treasured for all time...bravo!" - from Journeys into the Pinelands, an essay by P. A. Livingston
In 2007, in a collaboration with the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, Harrowood Books published VOICES-African American and Latina Women Share Their Stories of Success. This beautiful, "coffee-table" book provided with photographs and stories, the profiles of 50 remarkable women who have achieved respected positions in many walks of life. These are role models for girls and young women and their stories gave credit to those teachers, parents and most importantly, the major mentors, who helped to guide and support them to reach for their dreams. This is an inspiring and beautifully crafted book with full-page portraits by award-winning photographer, Darcy Padilla.
In May, 2009 Harrowood Books have published what the publisher, Paul Nigel Harris, describes as "the most important work that we have ever done." In the Spring of 2008, Harris was exhibiting the book "VOICES" in Philadelphia and was approached by Dorothy Johnson-Speight, the founder of Mothers In Charge. Impressed by the quiet dignity of this woman, he was then "thrown for a loop"...Dorothy had an incredible story about losing her son to gun violence—a senseless murder over a parking space—after he had just been accepted to graduate school. His killer had identified him as "associated with" the parked car which had “offended” his killer; Dorothy chose to turn her incredible grief into a crusade to help mothers who have lost children to street violence and had recently been named by Philadelphia Magazine as their “Best Philadelphian"
Harris describes this experience as: “an epiphany...like so many people, I had become inured to the violence, untouched in any deep way by the news stories of killings which seemed to happen almost every night in Philadelphia; it’s not that I wouldn’t let the stories touch me but the reporting never connected in a visceral way...and like so many ignorant suburbanites, I had assumed that most of these victims must have been gang members or drug users, but, when I gazed into those mothers’ eyes looking at me through Chris’ camera lens, I felt the hair on my back and arms rise...I had some small sense of what those mothers felt and it gripped me. I imagined them asking ‘Now, knowing what you know, what are you going to do?’ and I was hooked. Chris Crisman had done an amazing job.”
The book "MOTHERS IN CHARGE - FACES OF COURAGE" is now available on the special web page www.facesofcouragebook.com