Karen van Dorp worked as a collection manager in Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, The Netherlands) from 2009 until 2019. Amongst the collections she curated was the collection of Christa Laetitia Deeleman-Reinhold. Karen became fascinated with Christa’s intriguing past, her long relationship with the Leiden museum, and her very important contributions to the institute’s Southeast Asian collections. Out of admiration and respect grew the urge to record Christa’s story. This biographical text is based on an interview held with Christa in her house in February 2019 and is therefore an associative story, instead of a strictly chronological summary of events. It is published in the year Christa turns 90 years old – and she is as active in her spider research as ever. Karen is very grateful to Christa, who opened her house, her collection and her mind in order to let Karen write this short biography which hardly does her long, interesting and passionate life justice. She also likes to sincerely thank Peter van Helsdingen (former deputy-director of the ‘Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie’; now Naturalis Biodiversity Center, active spider scientist and a friend of Christa’s) for reviewing and publishing this text. Phoebe Larkin kindly helped with translating the original Dutch text in English.

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