This is a collection consisting of 132 mycology slides in 11 trays.
Each slide is made of metal covered with black paper having a brass
cell and cover. Within the cells are specimens of fungi attached to
the original substrates. The specimens are mounted on a blue-colored
wax. Many of the slides are marked “M. C. Cook”. Others are not signed,
but most of the labels appear to be in the same hand. Each slide has
a large round label with the name of the specimen and sometimes the
name of the substrate that became infected or the location where the
object was collected. In addition, there is a small round label on
each slide containing a code, the meaning of which is lost.
It is assumed that the “M. C. Cook” found on some of the slides stands
for Mordecai Cubitt Cooke, the renowned botanist, mycologist, publisher, and author;
look here and
here. He was
also a founder of the Quekett Microscopical Club in 1865;
It is curious that the “e” missing from “Cook” in the signatures on these slides.
Are the signatures an indication that Cooke made the slides or do they indicate that
Cooke only furnished the specimens? Another possibility is that the Cooke signatures
are just an indication that the specimens were described in some of the published works of Mordecai Cubitt Cooke.
Some examples under the microscope
Plate VIII from the book “Rust, Smut, Mildew, & Mould.
An Introduction to The Study of Microscopic Fungi by M. C. Cooke”, 1872