Herbarium sheets flimsies and cardstocks

June 6th, 2024
Robin working on the botanie collaction

The CollAction team brought the historical Herbarium collections into top condition. The old covers were replaced by the team with new acid-free covers. This way, the collection will last for multiple generations. 

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Naturalis has a large herbarium, with a world-renowned historical collection. There you can find unique specimens from before 1800, which are often the first collections of certain species. Among these, are many so called type specimens, which are specimens of a species on which the description of that species is based. These herbarium collections are widely used for research. Examples of such famous herbarium collections are the Van Royen collection from the 18th century and the Von Siebold collection, which contains specimens from 19th century Japan. Often we came across beautiful watercolors, and even a dried salamander.


Dried salamander

herbarium sheets

Herbarium sheets that are 200 years old or even older must, of course, be handled with care. These historical collections often still had the old covers, and in some cases these covers did not indicate which species were inside. The CollAction team replaced the old covers with acid-free covers, and provided these new covers with species labels. In the process the team learned of the difference between the so-called flimsies and cardstock folders. The flimsies are the thinner inner covers, and the cardstock folders are the cardboard outer covers. During the project the team was dealing with a process which they dubbed flimsying, cardstocking, printing, and glueing.