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Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation


17(2) Huntia published

9 August 2019

Whether you prefer to sleuth with the noir gumshoe, a brilliant man in a deerstalker or a Benedictine monk with a botanical bent, you will find plenty of clues to solve the mysteries in this issue of Huntia. E. Charles Nelson finds clues in the decorated capitals of numerous copies of Mark Catesby's Natural History to determine when the Royal Library's copy likely was assembled. M. E. Mitchell takes us crystal gazing to examine lichens from a chemist's perspective and those findings from a lichenologist's perspective. For readers of Mitchell's lichen history series, the skepticism of lichenologists will be no mystery but, as always, a lively read. Dirk H. R. Spennemann traces the horticultural history of the Canary Island date palm, unraveling the complex synonymy employed by the nurseries for marketing purposes. E. Charles Nelson asks "What's in a name" and then tracks Burbidge's evolving moniker, meaning those of us who compile biographical information need to make a note or at least link to this Huntia article. R. B. Williams, M. A. Carine and D. Bramwell solve the mystery of the final manuscript of Richard Thomas Lowe's A Manual Flora of Madeira, finding its true author and giving a master class in archives' sleuthing as well as a gentle reminder of the importance of completing loan and transfer forms as they follow clues to missing manuscripts. In a related article R. B. Williams goes on to describe those botanical manuscripts relevant to Madeira that had been at Cambridge University Herbarium Archives in 1967 and their current locations in other libraries at the university (if known). We include book reviews and announcements in Huntia for the last time. If you are looking to publish your own recently resolved botanical mystery, check out the topics and submission guidelines available on the Huntia page.

About the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, a research division of Carnegie Mellon University, specializes in the history of botany and all aspects of plant science and serves the international scientific community through research and documentation. To this end, the Institute acquires and maintains authoritative collections of books, plant images, manuscripts, portraits and data files, and provides publications and other modes of information service. The Institute meets the reference needs of botanists, biologists, historians, conservationists, librarians, bibliographers and the public at large, especially those concerned with any aspect of the North American flora.

Media Contact:
Scarlett T. Townsend