Rio de Janeiro, Sept. 4th 2018,
Dear colleagues and curators,
The Museum palace burned down and mostly everything housed in it was lost. A damage assessment is now in progress by a large team of different authorities.
It seems that a thousand of my friends just deceased simultaneously. And yes, the work of thousands of colleagues, past and extant, just turned to ashes. The World just lost many million scientific treasures. All numbers in the media are nothing but rough (under)estimates.
As the curator of the R Herbarium I am relieved to inform that in 2007 the herbarium (with ca. 650 thousand specimens and 8 thousand types) was moved out of the palace (main building of the Museu Nacional) into a new building built mostly with collections in mind, which is now known as our Department of Botany. While conditions are not ideal at the herbarium, we are managing to keep material safe and under study.
With the fire we temporarily lost some institutional functionality such as access to postal service and Internet. Please rest assured that the botanical material you lent us is well accommodated and safe for now. We shall be returning it as soon as institutional functionality is minimally restored.
I am sending this from my home, and ask you to kindly spread word of this to other curators. At this point I cannot elaborate a mailing list of all partner institutions with which we have exchanged loans.
With my warm regards!
Ruy J. V. Alves, Prof. Titular, PhD, Curador do Herbário R Laboratório de Florística e Biogeografia Insular & Montana,
Departamento de Botânica,
Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Quinta da Boa Vista s./no., São Cristóvão, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 20940-040, BRASIL
(Image By Paulo R C M Jr. - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fachada_do_Museu_Nacional_da_UFRJ_-_S%C3%A3o_Crist%C3%B3v%C3%A3o,_Rio_de_Janeiro.JPG, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18555183