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History of the carckological collections of the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie, Leiden, Netherlands (18204950)

WithL.B. Holthuis

In the 17th and 18th century, when the Netherlands were at the height of their power and wealth, an amazingly great number of private natural history cabinets existed there. The prosperity of the country made it possible for many persons to give time and money to the gathering of such collections. Jacob Temminck, treasurer of the Dutch East India Company, owned a remarkable collection of birds in which foreign species were well represented. When in 1820’s Rijks Museum van Natuurlijke Historie was established, C J. Temminck was appointed its director on the condition that the Temminck collection would become part of the Museum. In 1820 Director Temminck envisaged three curators for the Museum: One for Vertebrata, one for In vertebrata, and one for mineralogy. The first and the last were appointed in 1820 with the establishment of the Museum.