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The Blaschka collection at UCD rebuilding its history.

Publication Date: 09 October, 2013


Eric Callaghan, Hazel J Doyle, and Emmanuel G Reynaud

Journal of the History of Collections, page fht022, 2013.

The glass marine invertebrate models produced by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka represent the most accurate museum artefacts ever made to represent cnidarians, nudibranchs and radiolarians. University College Dublin, originally the Royal College of Science for Ireland, holds a collection of these models, acquired in 1885, some of which continue to be used as teaching aids to the present day, but many with the passing of time have been damaged. A project has been initiated to recover and restore the collection as it was initially constituted. The first stage of this project, presented here, has involved compiling an account of the history of this collection, the recovery of most of the specimens in varying states of disrepair from different repositories, and their registration. Several lists have been retrieved, spanning nearly 150 years, as well as the original invoice indicating that the original purchase, by Professor A. C. Haddon, comprised 139 models, of which 114 have been retrieved in the course of this study.