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Dept. of Geography,
University of Hull,
Cottingham Road,

Biographies of some of the early collectors

These links provide access to biographies of some of the individuals who have made a contribution to the herbarium collections. It is very much a "work-in-progress" and I would welcome any further information or comments.

It is hoped that by documenting the travels and interests of these early collectors it may help to decipher problematical labels on specimens in other collections. It also shows that many of the individuals were not just botanists and led rich and adventurous lives, contributing to many other spheres of activity.

The Botanical Exchange Clubs

Liparis loeselii

During the latter half of the 19th and early 20th century botanical exchange clubs were very active. Contributing members would collect many specimens of a plant from a single location and then submit them for distribution to other members. Although initially fulfilling an important role in the understanding of plant distribution and taxonomy it undoubtedly constituted a threat to the survival of certain species.

John Fraser was a member of the Botanical Exchange Club of the British Isles and many of the early exchange specimens must originate from his collection. The source of the later material is still not known.

The Hull University Herbarium contains many specimens contributed to the exchange clubs. The following are particularly well represented:

  • J G Baker
  • A Bennett
  • A Brotherston
  • A Ley
  • E F Linton
  • W R Linton

The specimen to the right is the rare Fen Orchid, Liparis loeselii. It was brought close to extinction in Britain by over-zealous collecting. Under present legislation it would be an offence to collect such material.

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