Linnaeus' collections sold after his death

The Linnean Society in London
keeps Linnaeus’ collections of
animals, plants, stones, books etc.
Photo: Hans Odöö.

After a long illness, Linnaeus died on January 10th 1778. He lies buried in the cathedral at Uppsala.

Linnaeus was succeeded by his son Carl von Linné Jr, who upheld his father's work during a few years. When he died at the early age of 42 years, in 1783, his mother Sara Lisa sold Linnaeus’ collections as instructed by her late husband. These consisted of 19000 herbarium specimens, 3200 insects, 1500 shells, 750 pieces of coral, 2500 mineral samples, 2500 books, Linnaeus entire correspondence comprising 3000 letters and many manuscripts by Carl von Linné Sr and Jr as well as by other scientists.

An Englishman, Sir James Edward Smith, was the purchaser. In 1788 The Linnean Society was founded and on Smith's death in 1828 the society bought the Linnaeus collections. They are kept today in a bomb-proof room in Burlington House near Piccadilly Circus in London.

Sara Lisa lived on at Hammarby till her death in 1806. Today Hammarby belongs to the Swedish state and is open to visitors. Linnaeus’ botanical garden became a park during the 19th century but has now been restored to its former appearance and is known as the Linnaeus’ Garden. The Professor's residence, in the garden, is now the Linnaeus Museum containing many of his personal belongings.

Last modified: 2021-11-05