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Drawn biological images

by Eva Amsen

I tried cleaning out one of my e-mail inboxes recently and came upon an e-mail I received MONTHS ago, which I’d read but never answered, simply because I didn’t know the answer. It was from peacay of BibliOdyssey, who asked me way back when if I knew of any resources of (old, archived) microscopic images. I just didn’t know, because if I want to find old pictures, my source is BibliOdyssey. I’m glad to see he did end up finding the things he was looking for. Here’s a recent post full of drawn biological images from the German Natural History Museum’s Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg collection. There was a time when drawing skills were required in biology, and it wasn’t even that long ago.

Drawn biological images

If you like old images (not just scientific, but of anything, really) there’s also a BibliOdyssey book now, bringing us back full circle with images from the pre-internet age now once more on paper!


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peacay November 5, 2007 - 5:39 PM

Funnily enough, I remembered that email when I was making that (fourth) Ehrenberg post — and I promise I’m now taking you off ‘the special list’ ;- )

Ehrenberg’s legacy is both astounding and enormous (and not very well known) and I would venture to guess he’s one of the few early scientists whose complete oeuvre is available to us online. He spent his whole life just looking through a microscope and drawing every last single detail he found.

Eva November 5, 2007 - 6:15 PM

I was hoping you forgot!
What’s the “special list”? Is it “people who don’t read their e-mail at all” and I was taken off because I just confessed to having read it, OR is it “people who seem like they are really good at answering e-mail” and I was taken off because I just confessed that I was very aware of not answering?

peacay November 6, 2007 - 11:12 AM

Heh. I remember it because I felt a little embarrassed or something after writing it. It was like a reactionary swat aimed at a passing thought. I still think a dedicated site to the idea would have merit – a detailed evolution of cell microscopy sort of thing. Unless there’s one out there that has so far eluded me. So don’t worry, my lists are only ever imagined and non-replies from otherwise upstanding netizens is very low down on the totem pole for further thought.

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