Herbarium C. B. Trinius, Moscow (1778-1844) The Herbarium of the Moscow State University
The existing inventory of this collection (Goroshankin, 1885) gives a general idea of the richness of the herbarium. It includes 8,853 species of vascular plants (excluding pteridophytes). Some more specimens belonging to the same collection were found later, but they were not classified or listed. A great number of the herbarium sheets on the Cruciferae family from Trinius’ collection were kept together with L.F. Goldbach’s collection, in accordance with his professional interests.
This collection is considerably richer in authentic specimens by Russian and foreign botanists than certain other collections kept in the MW Herbarium (F. Erhart’s, G. Hoffman’s, L.F. Goldbach’s etc.). It is difficult not to be overwhelmed by emotions when looking at the type specimens by K.L. Willdenov, I.M. Link, O. Swartz, C.P. Sprengel, P.S. Pallas, R.L. Desfontaines or P.D.Villars, sometimes with their genuine signatures. There are, for example, more than a hundred syntypes and isotypes by Bieberstein complete with the labels in his handwriting.
All world floras Practically all world floras are represented in this collection, from the northern tundra’s in Lapland to
Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. Europe is widely represented by specimens from Portugal, Britain, France, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy and Poland. Many specimens are from different provinces of Russia: the Crimea and the Caucasus, Southern Russia, Bessarabia, the Volga river valley, Central, Western and Northwestern Russia, the Urals, West Siberia, Pribaikaliye, East Siberia, Kamchatka and Sakhalin. Specimens from Central and South Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Caledonia, the Pacific islands and from North, Central and South America are also represented.
The botanists It is estimated that more than 210 botanical gardens and individuals contributed to the creation of this herbarium as a unique collection of specimens. The MW part of Trinius’ herbarium has mainly been collected by 114 foreign botanists (from Germany, France, Sweden, Austria, Britain, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain), while only 45 collectors were Russian or Russian-German. This picture is quite typical for Russian science of the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Individual collections We assume that Trinius’ collection is far from consistent and that it is actually composed of several separate individual collections received by the Moscow State University at various times. The most substantial of them, estimated at several thousand sheets, are that of K.A. Rudolphi from the Greifswald Academy and that of I.A.Weinmann and P. Beck from the Count Orlov’s botanical garden in St. Petersburg. Less rich are the lots collected by G.G. Gmelin, M.H.K. Lichtenstein, W. Tilesius (all from Germany), P. Kitaibel (Hungary), L. Riedel and G. Langsdorf (Russia) and one anonymous author whose labels are scribbled in perfect calligraphic script.