News portal – Ruhr University Bochum. Why an old botany book turned out to become a genuine treasure.

The look for a 188 year old book took a RUB botanist to Saint Petersburg. He was unsuccessful there. Some years later, luck helped.

Annika Fink carefully takes the book off the shelf within the specialist library for biology. As inconspicuous since it appears with its easy brown cover, it’s a real treasure for botanists and librarians, because it is actually a rare and valuable initially edition from 1831.

Neither side might possibly crease, nor may perhaps the paper tear. A sure instinct is essential.? The book is thus not open for the public,? Explains Fink. As an alternative, the librarian keeps it within the closed magazine, to which only library staff have access and only hand out the book for reading on request.

The book, which bears indicators on the times both inside and outside, is entitled? Essai monographique sur les esp?ces d’Eriocaulon du Br?sil? And, paraphrasing website online also to initial written descriptions, includes particularly detailed steel engravings of a family members of plants that are woolly stem plants – in Latin: Eriocaulaceae – is named.

The search started in 2008.

It can’t be taken for granted that it is actually now inside the faculty library. It truly is preceded by a long history that extends as far as Russia. “In 2008 my post-doctoral student Marcello Trovo was urgently trying to find this book for his study, ” says botany professor Dr. Thomas St?tzel.

There had been a handful of copies of the perform in Germany, but they have been not total, and additionally, current reprints.? For us scientists, nevertheless, it truly is essential that when we quote other researchers in our function, we have their original editions in front of us. You possibly can work with later quotations, but they can include errors and after that the publication is invalid in the sense on the international code of your botanical nomenclature?, so St?tzel.

The oldest edition that Trovo found through his research was within a university library in Saint Petersburg, where the German author August Gustav Heinrich von Bongard lived and worked as a botanist until his death in 1839. Since he truly wanted to determine the book, Trovo made the two, 200-kilometer journey – and stood in front of closed doors.? That was certainly tragic,? Says Thomas St?tzel, describing the disappointment.? At that time, of all times, the library was closed for renovation.?

A lucky coincidence.

Trovo had to perform differently for his work. But years later, in 2012, the story took an unexpected turn:? A former employee referred to as me. He just dissolved the library with the Botanical Association in Bonn. And Bongard’s book of all points was among the operates to be sold. I could have it to get a symbolic price tag,? Says a happy St?tzel when he thinks of his terrific luck.

St?tzel left his acquire for the Faculty Library of Biology, where Annika Fink took care of it. Lately she was in a position to possess it processed by a specialist corporation. “Our budget was only adequate for experienced cleaning – a full restoration would have price two, 000 euros – but we’re incredibly happy with all the outcome, ” said the librarian.

Loads of details is lost by means of scanning.

Although Thomas St?tzel has now digitized the book, he emphasizes how critical it can be to have performs like this inside a reference library.? A lot of knowledge such as colour and particulars on the drawings are lost once they are scanned,? He explains. And Annika Fink adds: “The paper itself and any handwritten notes from earlier owners, if any, provide you with researchers from several disciplines worthwhile insights in to the genesis of such books. ”

In any case, Thomas St?tzel and Annika Fink choose to do their finest to ensure that the old treasure might be kept in their library for any long time and is available to scientists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *