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

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

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

Annika Fink carefully takes the book off the shelf in the specialist library for biology. As inconspicuous since it appears with its rather simple brown cover, it is actually a true treasure for botanists and librarians, since it is actually a uncommon and valuable first edition from 1831.

Neither side may well crease, nor could the paper tear. A sure instinct is necessary.? The book is consequently not open towards the public,? Explains Fink. Rather, 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 signs of your occasions each inside and outside, is entitled? Essai monographique sur les esp?ces d’Eriocaulon du Br?sil? And, also to initial written descriptions, contains incredibly detailed steel engravings of a family of plants which might be woolly stem plants – in Latin: Eriocaulaceae – is called.

The search started in 2008.

It cannot be capstone nursing projects taken for granted that it is actually now within the faculty library. It really is preceded by a lengthy history that extends as far as Russia. “In 2008 my post-doctoral student Marcello Trovo was urgently seeking out this book for his investigation, ” says botany professor Dr. Thomas St?tzel.

There had been a handful of copies from the function in Germany, but they had been not comprehensive, and moreover, recent reprints.? For us scientists, in spite of this, it is imperative that when we quote other researchers in our function, we’ve got their original editions in front of us. It is easy to operate with later quotations, however they can contain errors and after that the publication is invalid in the sense on the international code of the botanical nomenclature?, so St?tzel.

The oldest edition that Trovo identified through his study was in 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 really wanted to determine the book, Trovo made the 2,200-kilometer journey – and stood in front of closed doors.? That was actually tragic,? Says Thomas St?tzel, describing the disappointment.? At that time, of all occasions, 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 factors was amongst the works to be sold. I could have it to get a symbolic price,? Says a satisfied St?tzel when he thinks of his wonderful luck.

St?tzel left his identify for the Faculty Library of Biology, where Annika Fink took care of it. Not too long ago she was in a position to possess it processed by a specialist company. “Our price range was only enough for skilled cleaning – a full restoration would have expense 2,000 euros – but we are especially satisfied with all the result, ” said the librarian.

A whole lot of information is lost through scanning.

Though Thomas St?tzel has now digitized the book, he emphasizes how vital it truly is to have performs like this within a reference library.? A lot of material such as color and details around the drawings are lost once they are scanned,? He explains. And Annika Fink adds: “The paper itself and any handwritten notes from prior owners, if any, provide researchers from various disciplines beneficial insights in to the genesis of such books. ”

In any case, Thomas St?tzel and Annika Fink need to do their finest in order that the old treasure can be kept in their library to get a long time and is on the market to scientists.