Monday Eye Candy: Botanical Prints

3 Oct

It’s beautiful in Madison today, and I’m dreaming of crisp fall days and autumn leaves. I went in search of a beautiful botanical engraving of a maple tree and came across this a very cool site in the process: A digitization project of the Missouri Botanical Garden, it is a way for botanists to access the historical texts upon which their discipline relies without having to physically travel to the library, page through books, and possibly miss important documents.

Maple Engraving

Image courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden.

In addition to the beautiful engravings, this site caught my eye because of reading we just completed for class: Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger. The book mentioned two things with which I wasn’t familiar that popped up on this site: Linnaeus and uBio. Carl Linnaeus was a Swedish botanist who laid the foundation for binomial nomenclature (basicially, descritivus specius, or the Latin name) and modern taxonomy. I probably should have known about him, right? He’s clearly a big deal with the botanical crowd, who identify works as pre- or post-Linnaean.

While Linnean taxonomy has helped scientists classify species for hundres of years, uBio is helping further clarify, by creating an international database that connects the common names of flora and fauna from around the world to their scientific names. No more confusing American robins with English robins!

Weinberger is also big on tagging and the creation of metadata. did a pretty decent job of using what Weinberger calls “the third order of information” by creating a tag list and Google map to help me locate colored engravings. Lovely.

Engraving of Blattaria Flower

Image courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden.

Engraving of a Lily

Image courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden.


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