The look for a 188 year old book took a RUB botanist to Saint Petersburg. He was unsuccessful there. Several years later, luck helped.

Annika Fink meticulously requires the book off the shelf in the specialist library for biology. As inconspicuous as it looks with its easy brown cover, it truly is a genuine treasure for botanists and librarians, because it is really rephrasing sentences online a rare and valuable initially edition from 1831.

Neither side could crease, nor could the paper tear. A certain instinct is essential.? The book is therefore not open for the public,? Explains Fink. Rather, the librarian keeps it in the closed magazine, to which only library employees have access and only hand out the book for reading on request.

The book, which bears signs with the instances both inside and outdoors, is entitled? Essai monographique sur les esp?ces d’Eriocaulon du Br?sil? And, additionally to initial written descriptions, contains especially detailed steel engravings of a family of plants which can be woolly stem plants – in Latin: Eriocaulaceae – is known as.

The search started in 2008.

It can’t be taken for granted that it truly is now within the faculty library. It really is preceded by a long history that extends as far as Russia. “In 2008 my post-doctoral student Marcello Trovo was urgently on the lookout for this book for his research, ” says botany professor Dr. Thomas St?tzel.

There have been a handful of copies of the work in Germany, but they had been not comprehensive, and moreover, current reprints.? For us scientists, nevertheless, it truly is very important that when we quote other researchers in our work, we’ve got their original editions in front of us. You’re able to operate with later quotations, but they can contain errors and after that the publication is invalid within the sense in the international code from the botanical nomenclature?, so St?tzel.

The oldest edition that Trovo identified via his analysis was inside a university library in Saint Petersburg, where the German author August Gustav Heinrich von Bongard lived and worked as a botanist until his death in 1839. Mainly because he certainly wanted to view the book, Trovo made the 2,200-kilometer journey – and stood in front of closed doors.? That was truly tragic,? Says Thomas St?tzel, describing the disappointment.? At that time, of all times, the library was closed for renovation.?

A fortunate coincidence.

Trovo had to perform differently for his function. But years later, in 2012, the story took an unexpected turn:? A former employee known as me. He just dissolved the library with the Botanical Association in Bonn. And Bongard’s book of all points was amongst the works to become sold. I could have it for a symbolic price,? Says a satisfied St?tzel when he thinks of his terrific luck.

St?tzel left his discover to the Faculty Library of Biology, exactly where Annika Fink took care of it. Lately she was in a position to possess it processed by a specialist organization. “Our budget was only enough for qualified cleaning – a total restoration would have cost two, 000 euros – but we’re incredibly satisfied together with the outcome, ” stated the librarian.

A considerable amount of material is lost through scanning.

Even though Thomas St?tzel has now digitized the book, he emphasizes how very important it truly is to have operates like this in a reference library.? A lot of information and facts just like color and particulars around the drawings are lost when they are scanned,? He explains. And Annika Fink adds: “The paper itself and any handwritten notes from previous owners, if any, provide researchers from a number of disciplines beneficial insights into the genesis of such books. ”

In any case, Thomas St?tzel and Annika Fink wish to do their greatest to ensure that the old treasure will be kept in their library to get a extended time and is readily available to scientists.