Book Reviews of publications related to botanical work in the Netherlands
Acta botanica neerlandica , Volume 9 - Issue 2 p. 260- 262
Well informed as we may be about the life and work of Melchior Treub (1851-1910) through a number of obituary notices, biographical sketches, and several, often extensive historical accounts of natural science in the former Dutch East Indies (particularly the botanic gardens, the Department of Agriculture, and the various non-governmental experiment stations), hitherto we lacked a more extensive Treub biography. I think that we must appreciate it that Dr. Zeijlstra did not attempt anything like a definite biography of Treub which would have been a huge undertaking involving an enormous amount of research in Dutch, Indonesian, and other archives, but that he did restrict himself to an extensive biographical memoir. This biography, the value of which is heightened by the fact that the author was associated with Treub and that he received considerable aid in the form of nine ms. essays (“Reminiscences of Melchior Treub”) from the late Dr. J. C. Koningsberger (whose son, Prof. V. J. Koningsberger, again was instrumental in arranging for the publication of this memoir), not only gives us a picture of Treub’s life and work, but also of the history of the Buitenzorg Botanic Gardens and manifold other activities in the former Dutch East Indies with which Treub was concerned. It is a nostalgic picture — Treub made a world institution of the Buitenzorg Botanic Gardens and its directorate into the most importent and most influential biological position in the Netherlands Empire of his period. He was a hard worker; the personal assistance which he gave to scientific visitors from abroad prior to their trip to Java, while they had their headquarters at Buitenzorg or its Tjibodas annex, and also after they had left (particularly in connection with the publication of the results of their work), was often very extensive.
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