Visit from the Linnean Society

The Center for the History of Science had a visit by the Librarian of the Linnean Society in London, Will Beharrall, Friday 26th of May. He was in Sweden to give a talk at the Swedish Linnaueus Society’s annual meeting on Saturday 27 May. This year marks 100 years since the Linnaus Garden in Uppsala was restored to its 18th century Linnaean form. Beharrell was happy to also visit the Academy of Sciences and see materials related to Linnaeus.

The Linnean Society in London devotes itself to studies in natural history, evolution and taxonomy and has been based since 1857 at Burlington House (where the Royal Society also housed 1857–1967) in central London. In recent years, biodiversity has been an important issue. Several scientific journals are published. Honorary members include the Swedish and British monarchs, former Emperor Akihito of Japan as well as David Attenborough. Other members include Darwin, Huxley and Jenner.

The society was created in 1788 after James Edward Smith had bought Linnaeus’ scientific material (books, correspondence, and natural materials) from the widow. The Linnean Society in London in collaboration with the Swedish Linnaeus Society and the Center for the History of Science, completed the project the Linnean Correspondence a few years ago, which digitally gathered all the Linnaean correspondence in one place.

Inspecting some Linnaeus material from the collections.

Beharrall was most pleased to see some archival documents from the collections, such as the illustrations of shells from Lovisa Ulrika’s collection that Linnaeus organised.