I’m not sure ‘herbarium’ is the correct word to use for a collection of mosses, but I don’t know what else to call it, so herbarium will have to do.
In sorting out the records and files from the original bird observatory of the 70s and 80s, I came across a file box filled with samples and data on local mosses. Dot was a botanist before she became a birder and bander, and this her collection.
There are about 50 different cards in the box, all with dried and perfectly preserved samples. The one in the photo is labeled ‘sphagnum acutifolium’ a bog moss from the Great Swamp in Chatham, NJ (where Dot used to teach).
This one is labeled Polytrichum commune, or common hair moss, and was collected in Stillwater, NJ.
Looking at this collection made me think of early naturalists, who took time to collect, identify, label, and preserve plants in similar herbariums.
I haven’t found the actual herbarium we used to have – I have a feeling it didn’t survive one of the Observatory moves.
But, this little moss collection is here, and I will do some research to find the best way to preserve and display it in the library, so others might enjoy and learn from it.
The new book cases are almost finished, and then I will be starting to sort through the seven file cabinets of records, and about 1,000 volumes of books and periodicals, in earnest. You’ll probably be seeing more about that here from time to time.