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[Protista] Fritsch Algal Reference Collection in Crisis

Fritsch FRITSCH FRITSCH at wpo.nerc.ac.uk
Tue Oct 4 09:54:11 EST 2005

Apologies in advance for any cross-posting.

The Fritsch Collection, which is housed at Windermere in North West England, consists of sheets of several million published figures & taxonomic items on terrestrial, fresh- and brackish-water algae from worldwide distributions.  These are supported by full author citations and a genus index with over 3000 entries. This has been available on microfiche from IDC publishers and is used by many around the world. The author citations are currently being entered into a free searchable online database.

Sourcing, acquiring, entering, and disseminating taxonomic information are key features of the work of The Fritsch Collection as a unique reference to algal literature.  The Fritsch Collection increases in importance as the number of taxonomists declines, and the passing of time makes its work more urgent.
Unfortunately the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) has announced that it is to withdraw financial support for the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) Library and Fritsch Collection now that CEH has left The Ferry House, which it shared with FBA, and moved to Lancaster University. Fritsch staff who are CEH employees will be made redundant in the Spring.

This is an appalling situation since the Fritsch and FBA library are both unique aquatic resources that have long been so useful to so many. Currently it is 'business as usual' and we are seeking a positive way forward. Understandably the FBA cannot run these services without obtaining substantial funding but this will take time. We need to find funds and to make grant applications for the Fritsch, either as part of the library service package or on its own. We would be extremely grateful to receive any letter of support from you. As an FBA Council meeting is to be held shortly, please email it to the Fritsch fritsch at ceh.ac.uk and mark it 'For the Attention of the FBA President and Chairman', quoting your title and affiliation if any.

Any influence you can bring to bear would be greatly appreciated.

Please visit our website (www.fritschalgae.info) regularly for updates on our situation.

Many thanks.
Yours sincerely,

Dr. E.Y. Haworth
Curator, The Fritsch Collection
ehaworth at fba.org.uk 

Fritsch Collection - Illustrations of Freshwater & Terrestrial Algae
The Ferry House, Far Sawrey, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 0LP, UK

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