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Catalog Data

Hester Schell  Search this
Plant matter, paper
12 × 10 in. (30.5 × 25.4 cm)
Victorian (1837-1901)
Botanical scrapbook of pressed and dried water ferns (Salvinales) on colored paper. The cover of the album says “Scrap Book.” The book is inscribed to Howard DeGraff Schell from his grandmother Hester Schell, November 11, 1900.
Label Text:
Collecting and preserving plants was a popular pastime in the nineteenth century. Both men and women pressed plants and kept them in a botanical scrapbook of sorts. This activity was able to serve a variety of interests, both the scientific, sentimental, and artistic. Whatever their purpose, the plants collected were prepared and added to a book in a similar fashion. To dry the flower or plant for a botanical scrapbook, the specimen was placed between two sheets of botanical drying paper, blotting paper or newspaper and then sandwiched between two boards. This was then bound tightly together for a period sufficient for it to dry completely. The dried specimens were then sewn, glued, or taped to the pages of the album, which might be plain or colorful fabric or paper. Usually some identifying information such as the name, location, and date that they were found was also recorded on the page.
One type of botanical scrapbook is called an herbarium; these generally served more serious scientific pursuits when collecting, pressing, and correctly identifying specimen. An herbarium was even created to log all the botanical discoveries on the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806). Herbariums were important scientific resources, which were used to identify information about plant species and their origin.
Mounted on paper
Inscribed to Howard DeGraff Schell from his grandmother Hester Schell, November 11, 1900.
albums  Search this
scrapbooks  Search this
Aquatic plants  Search this
Botanical specimens  Search this
botany  Search this
ferns  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
Horticulture  Search this
Nature study  Search this
plants  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens