Plants of Central Brazil – Historical rescue and virtual herbarium by Auguste Glaziou, Brazil National Museum (Digital Restoration)

The exhibition “Plantas do Brasil Central – Historical rescue and virtual herbarium by Auguste Glaziou”, is focused on cultural and scientific dissemination, operating at the interface of memory and scientific production. Promoted by the Herbarium and the Department of Botany of the National Museum / UFRJ, will feature the conference “Auguste Glaziou and the gardens in the second half of the 19th century” by professor Carlos Terra, director of the School of Fine Arts (EBA / UFRJ) , and the launch of the website , which presents the virtual herbarium of Auguste Glaziou.

The project “Plants of Central Brazil: historical rescue and virtual herbarium of Glaziou” aims to provide images and information on specimens of Brazilian flora collected by Auguste François Marie Glaziou on his expeditions in Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, São Paulo and Goiás; besides providing historical images of the gardens designed by him in the 19th century.

The site features bibliographic material and high resolution images of the specimens collected by Glaziou and which are part of the herbarium collections of the National Museum / UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris, France.

The Herbarium of the National Museum, the first in the country, was founded in 1831 by Ludwig Riedel. Among his collections, the highlight is that of Auguste François Marie Glaziou, a 19th century French landscape artist and botanist who throughout the second reign attracted the attention of Emperor Dom Pedro II, who, in 1858, named him Director General of Woods and Gardens of the Rio de Janeiro.

Glaziou was responsible for the renovation of the first park in Rio, the Passeio Público in Rio de Janeiro, reopened in 1862. The naturalist was also responsible for the projects for the gardens of Quinta da Boa Vista in 1876 and Campo de Santana, completed in 1880. During the period from 1861 to 1897, undertook scientific expeditions in Brazil for the collection of plant specimens in the four states of the Southeast Region and in Goiás, in the approximate region of the current Federal District. Its main objectives were to obtain native species of ornamental value for its landscape projects and to expand scientific knowledge about national flora.

The landscaper distributed his exsiccates among several herbariums, the National Museum and the Muséum National d’histoire Naturelle being its greatest depositaries. Its collection, “Plantas do Brasil Central”, comprises 22,770 specimens. The plants of Central Brazil will exhibit, among others, the number 1 exsiccata collected by Glaziou in the Copacabana sandbank.

For the development of the project “The Virtual Herbarium of August Glaziou”, which was part of the Reflora public notice with the collaboration of CNPq, a Cooperation Agreement was established between three institutions: the National Museum / UFRJ (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Muséum National d’histoire Naturelle (Paris, France) and the Center for Reference and Environmental Information (Cria / São Paulo, Brazil). The project gathered the repatriated data, all the information present on the labels of the exsiccatae, including high resolution images of the specimens collected by Glaziou in Brazil and which are deposited in the herbariums of the two museums. The project uses the speciesLink network as a platform, guaranteeing all the functionality of this network to users.

National Museum in Rio de Janeiro
The National Museum, linked to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), is the oldest scientific institution in Brazil that, until September 2018, figured as one of the largest museums of natural history and anthropology in the Americas. It is located inside the Quinta da Boa Vista park, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, being installed in the São Cristóvão Palace.

The Museu Nacional/UFRJ is part of the Ministry of Education. It is the oldest scientific institution in Brazil and the biggest museum of natural history and anthropology in Latin America. Founded by D. João VI in June 6th, 1818, and initially based in Campo de Sant’Anna, it served the country to promote the cultural and economic development of the country.

Originally named Museu Real, it was incorporated to the Universidade do Brasil in 1946. Currently the Museum is part of the academic structure of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. The Museum located at Paço de São Cristóvão from 1892 — residency of the Brazilian Imperial Family until 1889 — gave to it a distinguished character if compared to other institutions of the area. It is the same place where the royal family lived for so many years (where D. Pedro II was born and the First Republican Constitutional Assembly happened), and today is the interface between memory and scientific production.

The National Museum housed a vast collection with more than 20 million items, encompassing some of the most relevant records of Brazilian memory in the field of natural and anthropological sciences, as well as wide and diverse sets of items from different regions of the planet, or produced by ancient peoples and civilizations. Formed over more than two centuries through collections, excavations, exchanges, acquisitions and donations, the collection was subdivided into collections of geology, paleontology, botany, zoology, biological anthropology (including the remnants of Luzia’s skeleton in this nucleus)., the oldest human fossil in the Americas),archeologyandethnology. It was the main basis for the research carried out by the academic departments of the museum – which develops activities in all regions of the country and in other parts of the world, including theAntarctic continent. It has one of the largestlibrariesspecializing in natural sciences in Brazil, with more than 470,000 volumes and 2,400 rare works.