130 pages, Half-tones
The principal plant explorers who were active in Mexico are the subject of this excellent book. The objective is to bring together in a single volume the most essential aspects of the work of these collectors in Mexico from 1700, when the first recorded specimens were obtained, until the arbitrary limit of 1930. Information was compiled from a wide array of literature touching on this general subject, from data obtained from herbarium labels that relate the activities of collectors in the field, and from auxiliary literature, including from the Internet. A preliminary list of 450 names was reduced to 337 by eliminating individuals lacking adequate facts.
Following the introduction is a historical account of the botanical exploration of Mexico, paying particular attention both to the individuals involved and to the institutions that supported them, segueing into discussion of the development of the herbaria of Mexico and/or herbaria important to Mexican botany. Initially, some herbaria were personal collections, but many became incorporated into institutional herbaria, thereby being preserved for the future. These historical considerations carry the story forward beyond 1930 more or less to the present day.
Most of the book is the alphabetical treatment of the collectors, nearly a third of whom have a black and white portrait. Each entry includes basic biographical data, botanical interests, travels of exploration, herbaria where specimens are preserved, and references to other works for fuller information.
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