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Request for examples of handwriting

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Tom Humphrey
Site Admin

Joined: 04 Jul 2005
Posts: 1298
Location: Wallingford, UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:12 am    Post subject: Request for examples of handwriting Reply with quote

Herbarium@home is trying to compile samples of herbarium label handwriting for as many deceased British botanists as possible.

There is a list of collectors for whom we don't yet have any examples of handwriting.

If you spot a good, clear example of a collector's handwriting then please consider adding to the database. This is easy to do as there are links from the specimen pages to a page which allows you to crop the image and automatically link the cropped section to a collector.

This is a really worthwhile that will greatly simply the task of identifying collectors both for people working on herb@home and hopefully also for other museums who will be able to make use of our on-line collection of handwriting examples.

When choosing handwriting examples to use, then it's really important to ensure that the writing is correctly identified - and that that person wrote the label (not a later curator etc.) If in doubt then please post a query on the message board.
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David Price

Joined: 05 Jul 2007
Posts: 2214

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A search for details of individual collectors often displays samples of hand-writing usually culled from the label of an herbarium specimen and purporting to be that of the collector.

Unfortunately the writing on the label is not always the collector's holograph manuscript (the collector's own handwriting). This is because the labels were often written by helpers in the Exchange Clubs or by the recipients of specimens, or their curators, in Institutions and private collections.

Charles Bailey appears to have discarded all original labels after he had transcribed (''how accurately?'' one may ask) the details, even in cases where he appears to have acquired a whole collection (e.g. of Rimington whose collection in turn appears to incorporate an earlier collection whose creator is now unknown; sometimes Bailey's collection reminds one of Chinese boxes).

A O Hume, who acquired the extensive collections of Frederick Townsend (incorporating much of Joseph Woods's) and W H Beeby, wrote fresh labels either personally or by his curator W H Griffin though usually retaining the Collector's original labels.

We now recognise that a Collector's label has an intrinsic value and importance as an historical document which may outlive the physical specimen it described.

I suggest that the gallery of Collectors' handwriting samples be looked at with a critical eye with a view to removing erroneous examples and that a record be kept by posting details hereunder so we can share our opinions and expertise.
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