October 02, 2023

Visual cartography of Jacques Huber’s botanical collections

Jacques Huber (1867-1914) made nearly 40 trips during his time in Brazil (from 1895 to 1914). Besides the scientific output of these expeditions, Huber was a pioneer in the use of photography in the field. His journeys through the Amazon, Northeastern Brazil, and the Far-Orient, resulted valuable documents like diaries and photographs that are preserved at the Goeldi Museum and the Cantonal Archive of the City of Basel, Switzerland. 

State of Ceará (1897)

Purus River (1904)

Jacques Huber kept several diaries while in the field. These diaries not only documented the day-to-day activities of the expedition, but also featured numerous landscapes and portraits of the people he encountered. Both visual records (photos and drawings) contribute to a novel perspective on the Brazilian environment and biodiversity, while serving as relevant sources for understanding the context of Huber’s expeditions.

View from Paca, Ucayali River (1898)

Shipibos that Huber met in Ucayali River (1898)

In the posdoctoral project titled “Visual cartography of Jacques Huber’s botanical collections”, conducted at the Goeldi Museum, we retraced Huber’s steps in three of his trips: the state of Ceará (1897), the Ucayali River (1898), and the Purus River (1904). The objective was to identify the places the botanist visited, the photographs and drawings he made, and the collections he gathered.

One of the results is presented in three maps (added to the “Expeditions” section), in which viewers may access the aforementioned information and cross-reference it for different perspectives of Huber’s journeys.

Lucas Monteiro de Araújo