For more than hundred years, the Botanic Garden Meise has been curating a unique 19th century rose herbarium, created and assembled by the Belgian rose specialist François Crépin (1830-1903). He corresponded and exchanged with almost all of the prominent botanical institutes of his time and a great number of plant collectors, both professionals and amateurs. His herbarium grew to become the most important global rose herbarium, both culturally and scientifically – a status it still holds today. Despite its value, this extensive collection is too little known and not easily accessible, owing to its fragility and former treatments with hazardous mercury sublimate.
Thanks to a grant from the World Federation of Rose Societies (Fonds Piaget) and the Royal Belgian Rose Society “De Vrienden van de Roos / Les Amis de la Rose”, 12,000 of the ca. 40,000 herbarium sheets of Crépin’s Rose Herbarium were imaged. This is an important first step in the opening-up to the world of this unique and precious treasure.
Via DoeDat, we invite the public to help the Botanic Garden Meise with the transcription of the label data, the next crucial step in order to make the collection accessible to the researchers and anyone interested in roses.
Rosae, Rosa Belgica, Botanica.
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