I love the illustrations in Willy Ley's Exotic Zoology, which appear to be line art. Sadly my copy is a battered library-discard; either the front matter never attributed the artist or it was on a page that's now missing. Wikipedia and Goodreads say the artist was Olga Ley, but they don't offer any particular citation for the information and I can't find her name in searches of any of Wikipedia's reference links--so I don't know how much they suffer from ambiguous citogenesis.

Who illustrated Exotic Zoology and how do we know?

  • This has been discussed on chat, but in the interest of transparency (and as information to new site users), many of the question's downvotes likely stem from the fact that the answer can be trivially obtained by (1) Google-searching for the book; (2) In top Google results, going to the book's dedicated Wikipedia page; (3) Extracting the information from relevant structured field on top of the page. In short, this question appears to be a quintessential example of "does not show any research effort", as the above 3 steps are a bare minimum of research expected before posting a question – DVK Jan 19 '17 at 15:45
  • relevant meta: meta.literature.stackexchange.com/questions/116/… – DForck42 Jan 19 '17 at 16:12
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    @DVK I'm incredulous that I have to clarify this, but Wikipedia is only as reliable as its sources and the article doesn't say where that information came from. Since apparently reading the book isn't sufficient research (despite being also able to ask questions without even reading the book), I've edited my question to spell out that I might want to ask experts rather than blindly trusting an un-cited Wikipedian claim. – BESW Jul 3 '17 at 8:56
  • Edited Wikipedia to add citation =) – heather Aug 15 '17 at 19:24

"A Bibliography of the Works of Willy Ley" (PDF link) was compiled by Jean M. Perreault for the Special Collections of the M. Louis Salmon Library at the University of Alabama in Huntsville after they acquired Ley's collection of books and journals upon his death in 1969 (link). It lists the illustrator of Exotic Zoology (1959, 1st printing) as Olga Ley.

I think this is as definitive as it's reasonable to get without an edition to hand that makes the attribution itself (which is an answer I'd love to see, especially if it can say which edition!); while the claims made by Wikipedia and Goodreads concur that Olga Ley is the illustrator, they don't offer any support or citation for their claims. The UAH Library's commissioned bibliography of their own collection, on the other hand, can be considered the next best thing to an original source.


Doing a bit of Googling turns up a Google Books result, which gives this cover:

Which says 'Illustrated by Olga Ley' on the front cover.

It appears as if this version is from 1962 (at least, that's the date of the edition on the cover, as well as what Google Books says).


According to the Wikipedia page, the illustrator is Olga Ley.

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    The Wikipedia article doesn't source its information, which as I've said is not available in the book itself. I won't accept this answer until it can provide a more credible source for its (probably accurate) claim. – BESW Jul 3 '17 at 8:58
  • @BESW Goodreads cites Olga Ley as the illustrator of Exotic Zoology as well. – fi12 Jul 3 '17 at 11:24
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    Do we have any reason to suspect goodreads isn't suffering from citogensis? – BESW Jul 3 '17 at 11:26
  • @BESW Good point. I'll do some more research. – fi12 Jul 3 '17 at 11:27
  • @BESW This Google Books result lists Olga Ley as the illustrator. I'm still doing some more research to verify that result. – fi12 Jul 3 '17 at 11:31

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