Superb specimens

Modern Books and Manuscripts 2014-03-20

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo collection.

Herbarium for pharmaceutical students was produced by Alban Edward Lomax, a 19th-century pharmacist that hailed from Liverpool, England.  An herbarium is essentially a collection of preserved plant specimens typically arranged by a specific nomenclature and classification.  There isn’t a great deal of information about Lomax though I was able to find some interesting facts in the Journal of Botany : British and Foreign from 1894.  According to the journal Lomax lived a fairly secluded life that was consumed with botanical pursuits.  Many of his specimens were collected through exchanges with other colleagues both in America and in Europe.  It is thought that his personal herbarium was purchased by the University of Liverpool upon his death at the age of thirty-three.

This particular volume is quite rare and we were unable to locate any other copies in libraries in the United States.  The individual leaves are in beautiful shape and include about 80 plant specimens such as cannabis, opium poppy, fennel, and black alder. Ancient herbalists believed that the leaves of the black alder cured cancer of the face, throat, and tongue, though today it is more commonly believed to reduce breast inflammation for nursing mothers. 

Check out other specimens in the Herbarium for pharmaceutical students / A.E. Lomax, Liverpool. Liverpool : A.E. Lomax, [probably between 1881 and 1894] which can be found at the Botany Libraries.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, Gretchen Wade, Judith Warnement, and Chris Robson of the Botany Libraries for contributing to this post.