University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Cabinet of Natural History > Piecing together the 19th-century Lisbon zoological collections through catalogue lists, specimen tags and paper slips

Piecing together the 19th-century Lisbon zoological collections through catalogue lists, specimen tags and paper slips

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  • UserCatarina Madruga (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & University of Lisbon)
  • ClockMonday 12 October 2020, 13:00-14:00
  • HouseZoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Joanne Green.

Amidst the permanent scent of alcohol evaporating from glass jars and the surreptitious presence of beady glass-eyes on mounted specimens, a great part of a 19th-century naturalist’s work was surrounded by paper. Scientific books and catalogues, journal issues and offprints, specimen tags and notebooks filled with drawings and measurements were but a few of the paper items essential for the work inside a zoology museum.

Paper technologies played a considerable role in the daily routines of museum workers and influenced the organisation of physical specimens in shelves and drawers. On the other hand, writing articles and books, revising, and finally publishing them was supported by an intense use of paper notes, index cards, and constantly updated manuscript catalogues.

This paper will analyse the diversity of the script and printed materials of the zoological museum of Lisbon and exemplify some of the paper tools of the trade behind the publication of catalogues, scientific books, and journal articles. While the 19th-century Lisbon zoological collections no longer exist today, unpublished sources from the historical archive will be used to illustrate the use of paper in a variety of ways.

This talk is part of the Cabinet of Natural History series.

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