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Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

Persons, Collections and Topics

Berchtold and Presl (1823–1835)

The Library has digitized Friedrich von Berchtold (1781–1876) and Jan Svatopluk Presl (1791–1849), O Prirozenosti Rostlin aneb Rostlinár ... (Prague, Jos. Krause, 1823–1835), except for the text to volume 3, lacking in our copy. Bohemian botanists Berchtold and Presl co-authored two works that have importance for botanists today working on problems of taxonomy and nomenclature. The first was O Prirozenosti Rostlin (Prague, Krala Wiljma Endersa, 1820), which treated vascular plant families. The second was O Prirozenosti Rostlin aneb Rostlinár (Prague, Jos. Krause, 1823–1835). At the time these works were written, their impact was limited by their being published in Czech rather than in Latin, but the work of Berchtold and Presl has been gaining new attention in the West in recent decades.

Friedrich von Berchtold (1781–1876) was a practicing physician with a strong interest in botany and natural history. In the 1830s he left his medical practice and traveled extensively in Europe, the Orient and Brazil (1836–1855). Berchtold collaborated on botanical publications with not only Jan Presl but also Jan's brother Karel Bořivoj (1794–1852). His publications also include Oekonomisch-technische Flora Bohmens (1836–1843) with Wenzel Benno Seidl, Philipp Maximilian Opiz, Franz Xaver Fieber and Johannes Pfund.

Jan Svatopluk Presl (1791–1849) was a professor of natural science at the University of Prague and in 1848 was named to the Viennese Academy of Sciences. He authored or co-authored a number of publications, including Flora Cechica (1819) and Deliciae Pragenses (1822) with his brother Karel Borivoj Presl and Wsobecny Rostlinopsis (1846
), Pocatkowé Rostlinoslowí (1848
), Tricet a Dwa Obrazy k Prwopocatkum Rostlinoslowi (1848
) and Reliquiae Haenkeanae (1830–1833, contributor). He published many papers that circulated among Bohemian intellectuals, and enriched the regional language with the first translations in Bohemian of many western scientific works. The Czech Botanical Society commemorated the two brothers by naming its principal publication Preslia.

O Prirozenosti Rostlin aneb Rostlinár was published in fascicles and collected into three volumes. Hunt Institute has the text from volumes 1 and 2 and the plates from all three volumes. The text of volume 1 is not paged continuously but has 13 different groups of pages (see finding guide). Volume 2 is paged continuously. Similarly, the plates from volume 1 are not numbered continuously, but those from the other two volumes are. There are 196 plates, which in our copy are all bound together in one volume separately from the text.

The following volumes of text and plates are available as PDFs.

Volumes 1–3 text

Finding guide to text in volumes 1 and 2

Volume 1 text

Volume 2 text

Volume 3 text [We do not have volume 3 text.]

Volumes 1–3 plates

Finding guide to plate numbers in volume 1

Volume 1, ii, [498] p., 80 plates

Volume 2, 508 p., 80 plates

Volume 3, 216 p., 36 plates [Hunt Institute copy lacks the 216 pages of text.]

Part wrappers

Original printed wrappers for pre-20th-century published works are rare as most were discarded when the pages they enclosed were being bound or rebound. However, they can provide critical information to scientists as well as to bibliographers, since the true publication date of a plant description might well be the date the wrapper it appears on was published, rather than the date on the title page added to the collected parts when they are brought together for binding. We have four part wrappers bound in with our volumes. At the front of our copy of the text of volume 1, there is a part wrapper for fascicle no. 31, and at the front of our copy of the text of volume 2, there is a part wrapper for fascicle no. 30. There are two more part wrappers (for fascicles 4 and 17) bound in with our plates. The part wrappers show which text pages and plates were distributed together in each of those fascicles.

The four part wrappers are available as a PDF.

Other resources

For information about portraits of and biographical citations for Berchtold and Presl, see the Hunt Institute Archives Register of Botanical Biography and Iconography database.

Ruzkowatec brunaty, Glaucium corniculatum; Mák snodárny, Papaver somniferum [From left, Glaucium corniculatum (Linnaeus) Rudolph and Papaver somniferum Linnaeus, Papaveraceae], lithograph by an unknown lithographer after an original by an unknown artist for Friedrich von Berchtold (1781–1876) and Jan Svatopluk Presl (1791–1849), O Prirozenosti Rostlin aneb Rostlinár (Prague, Jos. Krause, 1823–1835, vol. 1, pl. 38), HI Library call no. DS1 B485P.

Selected Artworks

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