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Johann Reinhold Forster (1729-1798) and his son Georg (1754-1794) were naturalists who accompanied James Cook on his second voyage around the world (1772-1775). In addition to animals and ethnological objects they collected a large herbarium. They were assisted by the Swedish botanist Anders Sparrmann, who joined them at the Cape of Good Hope. Already during the voyage descriptions and drawings were prepared and the new genera were published only a few months after their return in 'Characteres generum plantarum' (1775/76). Several sets of plants were given to botanists, either in gratitude for their help in identification, as a gift, or in exchange. The rest of Georg Forster's herbarium was sold in an auction in 1797/98 and bought by Aylmer Bourke Lambert, while William Roscoe aquired the herbarium of Johann Reinhold Forster in 1799 (plants now for the greater part at K, the remaining at LIV). Thus, plants of Forster can nowadays be found in at least 18 herbaria. The set at Göttingen seems to have been given to the university during a visit by Georg Forster in the year 1787 or at the beginning of 1788, after his return from Vilnius (Wilna) and before he went to Mayence (Mainz) as a librarian. The set was first included in the Academic Museum (Pütter mentions it as recently acquired in the second volume of his 'History of the University' 1788) and it later came to the Botanic Garden and was finally placed in the General Herbarium. The importance of the herbarium was recognized, and in 1968 F.-G. Schroeder separated it from the main herbarium; since then it is kept separately and has been studied by many visitors, notably by the late Ray Fosberg in 1986. ... [Information of the supplier]
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