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Description

Product Description

A treasury like no other

Since the 1500s, scientists have documented the plants and fungi that grew around them, organizing the specimens into collections. Known as herbaria, these archives helped give rise to botany as its own scientific endeavor.

Herbarium is a fascinating enquiry into this unique field of plant biology, exploring how herbaria emerged and have changed over time, who promoted and contributed to them, and why they remain such an important source of data for their new role: understanding how the world’s flora is changing. Barbara Thiers, director of the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium at the New York Botanical Garden, also explains how recent innovations that allow us to see things at both the molecular level and on a global scale can be applied to herbaria specimens, helping us address some of the most critical problems facing the world today.

At its heart, Herbarium is a compelling reminder of one of humanity’s better impulses: to save things—not just for ourselves, but for generations to come.

Review

“With lavish illustrations of places and people; portraits of key players; herbaria specimens; and beautiful, full-color artists’ renderings, this carefully researched, detailed homage to herbaria will appeal to those deeply interested in plant exploration and botany.” —Library Journal

“A sweeping history of the origins, development, and future of herbaria and their role in plant consternation.” —The American Gardener

“One of the prettiest books of the season… a lovely coffee table book as well as a serious work on the history of scientific endeavor.” —The Napa Valley Register

“An enlightening tribute to the mysterious world of Herbaria that is meticulously researched, well organized, and above all accessible.” —Gardens Illustrated

“This illustrated account of the Herculean efforts of the early botanists in this field is absorbing and enlightening.” —The English Garden

“At its heart,  Herbarium is a compelling reminder of one of humanity’s better impulses: to save things—not just for ourselves, but for posterity… A marvelous book about the ages, for the ages.”  —The Nevada Native Plant Society

Herbarium is sure to enchant anyone who has ever used a flower press or wished to learn more about plant classification, with vintage engravings and woodcuts of ancient plants.” The Free Press

“Invaluable for any personal library on the history of plants and their future. It is beautifully produced.” —The Financial Times

“Gardeners with an interest in history will delight in Herbarium.” —Horticulture

“Thoroughly researched and written in a readable style…this coffee-table book is lavishly illustrated with herbarium specimens, people, places, and maps, it’s one of those glorious books where hours can easily be lost in reading and re-reading.” —RHS The Garden
 

“A great book on the history of herbaria…readers interested in biographies and history would find this a great book to read and to add to their library collection.” —Cultivate to Plate

“This beautifully illustrated history includes not just full-page examples of herbaria, but paintings, prints, maps, and photographs.” —Landscape Architecture

“This book gives life to botanical collections and is a brilliant work that can be read, understood, and enjoyed by everyone.” —The Journal of the American Botanical Council

“A journey through the history of botanical collecting… those vivid stories bring specimens to life.” —Plant Science Bulletin

About the Author

Barbara M. Thiers is director of the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium at the New York Botanical Garden, president of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, and vice president of the Natural Science Collections Alliance.

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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
66 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Bill Harms
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great commentary on herbaria
Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2020
Just received my copy of this book and love it already. The author has painstakingly documented the history of herbaria while at the same time focused on the historic figures and institutions who were important in their development. There is also commentary on problems... See more
Just received my copy of this book and love it already. The author has painstakingly documented the history of herbaria while at the same time focused on the historic figures and institutions who were important in their development. There is also commentary on problems that herbaria are currently facing the need to address these issues. I look forward to spending hours reading the book in detail.
5 people found this helpful
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Ginny
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent in ever way.
Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2021
Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the author (Dr. Barbara Thiers) makes the history of plant collecting and categorizing highly entertaining. The book makes a strong case for the value museum flora and fauna collections can play in modern science. A must have... See more
Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the author (Dr. Barbara Thiers) makes the history of plant collecting and categorizing highly entertaining. The book makes a strong case for the value museum flora and fauna collections can play in modern science. A must have for plant lovers and scientists alike.
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very Good!
Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2021
Very Good!
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Shane Myers
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very interesting
Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2021
Fascinating history of herbaria and a look into the future. Excellent read. I have already recommended this to every naturalist I know.
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Weslyn Rae
5.0 out of 5 stars
Perfect for plant and science lovers!
Reviewed in the United States on December 13, 2020
I was completely enthralled by this book. I had no expectations going into it. I saw the cover, read the title, and knew this book was going to be for me. As a former botany student, I was very interested in the history of herbaria and plant collections. This book is... See more
I was completely enthralled by this book. I had no expectations going into it. I saw the cover, read the title, and knew this book was going to be for me. As a former botany student, I was very interested in the history of herbaria and plant collections. This book is written in a reader friendly format and filled with beautiful photographs and digitized herbaria specimens that guide you through history. Although this book might not be for everyone, I highly recommend it for anyone who truly loves plants and nature.
7 people found this helpful
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Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars
Informative and interesting
Reviewed in the United States on December 13, 2020
An interesting book full of history and information, and with beautiful pictures. An in-depth reference book that is perfect for anyone who wants to study the subject, with detailed information from around the world. Perhaps a bit lengthy for beginners or anyone with a... See more
An interesting book full of history and information, and with beautiful pictures. An in-depth reference book that is perfect for anyone who wants to study the subject, with detailed information from around the world. Perhaps a bit lengthy for beginners or anyone with a passing interest, but an essential book for those who love botany or work in the profession.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book.
3 people found this helpful
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Annarella
5.0 out of 5 stars
Highly recommended
Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2021
A fascinating, informative and wonderfully illustrated book about plants and how they are classified. I loved the mix of facts, history and documents. It''s an excellent book for whoever is interested in botanic. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the... See more
A fascinating, informative and wonderfully illustrated book about plants and how they are classified.
I loved the mix of facts, history and documents.
It''s an excellent book for whoever is interested in botanic.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Ely
3.0 out of 5 stars
A Beautiful Gift
Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2021
A visually stunning book that would probably make a wonderful gift for anyone interested in the subject. However, I found it very difficult to follow as someone with no real prior knowledge about plants and so forth. I hope to revisit this one day once I''m a little more... See more
A visually stunning book that would probably make a wonderful gift for anyone interested in the subject. However, I found it very difficult to follow as someone with no real prior knowledge about plants and so forth. I hope to revisit this one day once I''m a little more knowledgeable about the topic and can appreciate it more.
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Top reviews from other countries

K9 crazy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Husband happy!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 28, 2021
Very pleased with this
Very pleased with this
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Barbara Greene
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful and interesting!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 15, 2021
This is a marvelous book. Its images are gorgeous, and its content is fantastic. Highly recommended!
This is a marvelous book. Its images are gorgeous, and its content is fantastic. Highly recommended!
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Amazon Kunde
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fantastic
Reviewed in Germany on August 11, 2021
so beautiful with lots of information about herbariums
so beautiful with lots of information about herbariums
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Esther
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Perfecto
Reviewed in Spain on February 20, 2021
Tal cual lo esperado
Tal cual lo esperado
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