Collection of Botanical Learning Resources

Description of Funds

The Educational reforms carried out in the early twentieth century caused some changes, like giving more emphasis to practical teaching of science.  Particularly, in the case of Botany, the practices activities included tours and the use of botanical material for educational purposes. The Department of Plant Biology of the Faculty of Pharmacy preserves two collections of those educational resources: one of drawing sheets and another of botanical models.

The first collection consist of approximately 75 drawing sheets produced in Darmstadt, Germany by Forman and Morian and they are based on H. Jung, G. Von Koch and F. Quentell designs. The collection originated in the late nineteenth century using chromolithographic imagery.  It includes two series, one of smaller size (approx.  120 x 80 cm) against a black background showing the plant in detail: flowers, fruit and even occasionally it presents histological sections, reproductions process, etc… The other, larger in size (approx. 180 x 120) and against a white background,  presents an example of the diversity within specific taxonomic groups.

The collection of botanical models includes over 180 pieces. The models are made of paper pulp, wire and plaster on a wooden base. They were produced by the Berliner brand Robert Brendel in 1882. These models can be disassembled to show all the parts of plant anatomy (flowers or fruits). Other European museums, such as the Natural History Centre in Liverpool, hold exhibitions of similar botanical models.

The drawing sheet collection is accompanied by a prospectus describing the new panels for Zoology and Botany of Jung, Koch and Quentell, published by the producers Forman and Morian. In addition, Massimiano Bucchi has published a current study examining the relevance of this type of illustration called "Images of Science in the Classroom: Wallcharts and Science Education 1850-1920" in the British Journal for the History of Science (1998, 31, 161-184)

 

The History of the Collection

The Collection of clastic models of German origin is made of plaster, isinglass, wire and paper. It represents different floral prototypes produced in Germany in the late nineteenth century. Along with these models there is a collection of drawing sheets also produced in Germany, representing floral diagrams and schematic sections of different plants.