The Linnean Society of London has posted hundreds of beautiful photos of butterflies and moths from the collections of famed naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), the father of modern taxonomy. (Seen above, Papilio cardui.) They've also included digitized insect specimens from the collection of Sir James Edward Smith (1759-1828), the founder of the Society. These additions follow the posting of the Herbarium archive, including all 14,000 Linnaean plant specimens. From the Linnean Society:
The Linnean Society is the custodian of Linnaeus' collections, which comprises specimens of plants (14,000), fish (168), shells (1,564) and insects (3,198) acquired from the widow of Carl Linnaeus in 1784 by James Edward Smith as well as Smith's own plant (17,000 specimens) and insect (5,800) collections. The collections also include the library of Linnaeus (some 1600 volumes) and around 3000 letters and manuscripts.Link to Linnean Insect Collection page, Link to press release
It is the Linnean Society's aim to make available its primary research material in digital formats to support taxonomic and conservation efforts worldwide as well as providing public pleasure and enjoyment.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.