53 herbarium sheets of plants collected by Joseph Lister, 1883

Made:
1883
maker:
Agnes Syme Lister

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Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

53 herbarium sheets of plants collected by Joseph & Agnes Lister during a trip abroad to the Austro-Hungarian Empire (modern day Slovakia and Hungary). The majority of the specimens were collected during a trip in 1883.

Herbarium sheets are the most common means of recording a plant on paper, as dried specimens provide botanists with direct visual comparisons. These are two of 52 specimens collected by surgeon Sir Joseph Lister and his wife Agnes while touring eastern Europe in 1883. Each is labelled with its Latin name following the categories commonly used by all botanists from the 18th century. The labels appear in both Joseph’s and Agnes’s handwriting, showing the project was a joint effort. Botany was one of few sciences considered appropriate for women to practise in the nineteenth century.