Private collections of museum curators

Adolf Ceska aceska at TELUS.NET
Thu Oct 3 08:11:47 CDT 2002


Barry M. OConnor wrote:

> I know of another similar institution where curators
> were allowed to have personal collections in the institution, and all
> their effort went into those rather than the institutional collection.
One > such collection was even willed to a different institution ...


Some collections were sold again. See BEN (Botanical Electronic News) #
288:
(http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/)

FATE OF TADEAS HAENKE'S BOTANICAL COLLECTIONS
From: Blanka Skocdopolova and Jan Stepanek

QUOTE
Although Haenke's collection was discovered and purchased by the
Czech  National Museum, a substantial part of it ended up in the
Prague University herbarium (now the herbarium  of  the  Charles
University  in Prague, PRC). Karel B. Presl was the custodian of
botanical collections in the Museum from  February  5,  1823  to
August  6,  1846, but since 1832 he was also an external profes-
sor, and since 1838 an ordinary professor of natural history  at
Prague  University.  At  the time when K.B. Presl worked in both
institutions, he took the material he worked on to  the  univer-
sity  and later also to his home in Betlem Street. There is even
a document in which A.J.  Corda,  custodian  of  the  zoological
collections in the National Museum, accused K.B. Presl of misap-
propriation  of  the museum's herbarium. Presl's excuse was that
he was bringing the material  he  worked  on  to  study  at  the
university,  because  his  office there was more convenient than
the one in Sternberg's palace. After Presl's death, however, his
herbarium was offered for sale in _Botanische Zeitung_ (December
14, 1855) and in _Lotos_ (January 1856),  citing  205  fascicles
with 30,000 specimens in the former advertisement, and 28,000 in
the  latter.  Besides  the  Presl's own collections in the offer
were listed collections by  Haenke,  Helfer,  Sieber,  Ecklon  &
Zeyher,  and Cuming & Drege - all the collectors whose specimens
the Museum either bought or received  as  a  gift.  It  is  most
probable  that  the University bought Presl's herbarium from his
widow.
END OF QUOTE

Adolf Ceska, Victoria, BC, Canada




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