Pressed Specimens

Botanists are currently engaged in the colossal task of preserving fragile, sometimes centuries-old leaves in online databases where scientists worldwide can access and analyze them.

While Horatio Fenn was studying at the Yale College Medical Institute in 1822, he created a book containing over seven hundred pressed plant specimens he found in and around New Haven. Fenn’s book is now in the Yale Herbarium at 21 Sachem Street, where the university’s plant specimens are kept. The pages are yellowing, but the specimens themselves look surprisingly well preserved. Patrick Sweeney, collections manager at the Yale Herbarium, is plucking pages from the spine of Fenn’s book and carefully turning them to prevent. . . Read more
Mitchell Murdock
Virtually Everything

To digitize a library is a monumental task, and we’re just getting started.

A 35mm Kodak slide is a picture of a picture. On the first floor of Street Hall, Yale’s Slide Collection houses 320,000 pictures of other pictures. To hold them necessitates a library like a varnished jungle, a fortress of solid chest-high apothecary cabinets stocking hundreds of sleek beechwood drawers, each the width of a baby’s fist. Scanned from left to right, the labels read like obtuse verse: Abbot-Ayston Bacon-Bacon Bevan-Blake 1 But at 11 am on a rainy weekday, not many people are here to. . . Read more
Adriane Quinlan