Thursday, June 16, 2011

Old Records - thoughts revisited

Thoughts revisited

Having thought more about old records and early dates and looked at my notes from the NHM visit, I need to correct my original post.

My mind had been set that many of the pinned iris in the NHM had actual dates rather than just years on their labels. When looking up my notes this wasn’t the case, most were simply years but several stated bred. There were no actual early dates in this collection. Whereas now, if someone bred iris they would release into the wild back in the 1800s anything bred was destined for the collection, I assume without doubt.

However, although the NHM didn’t have any dates, some other collections did. I had been asking curators to check their specimens because at the time in 2003, I was trying to locate a Hertfordshire iris. Many of the historic Hertfordshire sightings were hearsay with no absolute proof whereas many other county had definite records (pinned specimens)!

One of the museums had one from the New Forest date 10.06.1918 but doesn’t state whether bred whereas others in the collection do………….

Also Dave Miller sent me this….
“The year of the previous earliest sighting was 1893. I believe the climate records for that year actually show that it resembled 2011 with an amazingly warm spell in late April - and 2011 has had the warmest spring since... 1893. It is therefore possible that the Purple Emperor record may actually be genuine.
is a lovely piece of overblown Victorian prose about the year...”


Matthew Oates said...

1918 was also an 'early' year and a good summer, though it was not as memorable as 1893.

Collectors tended to write 'bred ex...' on data labels for bred specimens.

My gut feeling is to count specimens as caught unless otherwise stated.

Liz Goodyear said...

The more I think about it the more I agree for historic records. However, in modern times if something was VERY and the weather wasn't being kind I would be suspicious