Edward Holmes

  • Edward M. Holmes. c. 1900
  • In 1872 Edward Holmes was appointed curator, a position he would hold for the next 50 years. Before acquiring this post he had received his education at the Pharmaceutical Society, where he was honoured with several awards for academic excellence. After having just missed being selected for an assistantship at the Kew Herbarium, he worked at Wright, Seller and Layman, in London for a while before coming to the Pharmaceutical Society.

    As curator, Holmes worked tirelessly, despite many financial and spatial restrictions, to maintain and exhibit the unique collection. Holmes was instrumental in building, preserving and recording the collection. He created a special teaching collection, from which the students and teachers could borrow specimens, allowing the main collection to remain protected from over-use. He also created a complete catalogue of the collection as well as organising and identifying the specimens.

    Alongside his curatorial duties he also held the post of Professor of Materia Medica from 1887-1890 and published widely in the field of botany and other natural sciences, including at least 600 papers on botany and materia medica in the Pharmaceutical Journal.