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The Bromell fossil collection at Uppsala University, Sweden: its history and the people behind it
Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution.
Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution.
2013 (English)In: GFF, ISSN 1103-5897, Vol. 135, no 1, 3-17 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Remains of 17(th) century cabinets of curiosity collections are held at the Museum of Evolution, Uppsala University, Sweden. Some of the oldest date back to the 1650s, and were included in the collection of Archiater, i.e. physician to the Crown, von Bromell (1679-1731). He is also known for publishing the first series of papers in Sweden to exclusively deal with palaeontology. Throughout his life he acquired specimens by collecting, buying or receiving in exchange to add to those he inherited from his father Olaus Bromelius, a famous botanist and physician. Information on the labels gives a glimpse of his network of friends, colleagues and fellow collectors, such as Kilian Stobaeus, Lars Roberg, Emanuel Swedenborg, Elias Brenner and Johan Dobelius. When Bromell died, his vast collections of books, coins, furniture, conchs, stuffed animals, minerals and fossils were sold off. The minerals and fossils were split up and owned by various persons during the following century. Parts owned by A. Lagerberg between the years 1746 and 1776 were bought in 1796 by Johan Afzelius and donated to Uppsala University at his death. Fossils and minerals earlier described by Bromell were in the care of The Royal Society of Science in Uppsala at least by 1791. Through the Institute of Geology, fossils accumulated over the centuries at Uppsala University eventually came together under the same roof in 1932, under professor Carl Wiman's care at the then newly erected Palaeontology museum building. Today, about 300 fossils from the Bromell collection are preserved at the museum.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 135, no 1, 3-17 p.
Keyword [en]
Cabinets of Curiosities, collections, Museum of Evolution, Olaus Bromelius, Magnus von Bromell
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-205397DOI: 10.1080/11035897.2012.759146ISI: 000321173200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-205397DiVA: diva2:644152
Available from: 2013-08-29 Created: 2013-08-16 Last updated: 2013-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Berg-Madsen, VivianneEbbestad, Jan Ove R.
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