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

Annika Fink very carefully requires the book off the shelf inside the specialist library for biology. As inconspicuous because it looks with its straightforward brown cover, it's a true treasure for botanists and librarians, since it is really a uncommon and valuable initially edition from 1831.

Neither side may crease, nor could possibly the paper tear. A positive instinct is essential.? The book is hence not open for the public,? Explains Fink. Instead, the librarian keeps it inside the closed magazine, to which only library staff have access and only hand out the book for reading on request.

The book, which bears indicators on the instances both inside and outside, is entitled? Essai monographique sur les esp?ces d'Eriocaulon du Br?sil? And, in addition to initial written descriptions, includes incredibly detailed steel engravings of a family members of plants which might be woolly stem plants – in Latin: Eriocaulaceae – is known as.

The search began in 2008.

It cannot be taken for granted that it is actually now in the faculty library. It truly is preceded by a extended history that extends as far as Russia. "In 2008 my post-doctoral student Marcello Trovo was urgently seeking out this book for his study, " says botany professor Dr. Thomas St?tzel.

There were a handful of copies on the perform in Germany, however they were not full, and additionally, current reprints.? For us scientists, nonetheless, it's fundamental that when we quote other researchers in our perform, we have their original editions in front of us. You may function with later quotations, however they can include errors then the publication is invalid in the sense on the international code from the botanical nomenclature?, so St?tzel.

The oldest edition that Trovo discovered by means of his analysis was within a university library in Saint Petersburg, exactly where the German author August Gustav Heinrich von Bongard lived and worked as a botanist until his death in 1839. Considering that he definitely wanted to view the book, Trovo produced the two, 200-kilometer journey – and stood in front of closed doors.? That was actually tragic,? Says Thomas St?tzel, describing the disappointment.? At that time, of all instances, the library was closed for renovation.?

A fortunate coincidence.

Trovo had to accomplish differently for his perform. But years later, in 2012, the story took an unexpected turn:? A former employee referred to as me. He just dissolved the library in the Botanical Association in Bonn. And Bongard's book of all factors was amongst the works to be sold. I could have it for a symbolic price tag,? Says a pleased St?tzel when he thinks of his amazing luck.

St?tzel left his unearth to the Faculty Library of Biology, exactly where Annika Fink took care of it. Not too long ago she was capable to have it processed by a specialist organization. "Our spending budget was only enough for experienced cleaning – a total restoration would have price two, 000 euros – but we are especially happy together with the outcome, " mentioned the librarian.

Loads of data is lost by way of scanning.

Although Thomas St?tzel has now digitized the book, he emphasizes how very important it really is to have operates like this in a reference library.? A large amount of info such as colour and particulars on the drawings are lost when they are scanned,? He explains. And Annika Fink adds: "The paper itself and any handwritten notes from preceding owners, if any, present researchers from various disciplines precious insights into the genesis of such books. "

In any case, Thomas St?tzel and Annika Fink wish to do their most beneficial so that the old treasure is often kept in their library to get a long time and is accessible to scientists.