Though the specimens in our general ornithological collection, for the greater part collected before and at the time that the late Professor H. Schlegel interested himself much in the knowledge of the birds of the Netherlands — that is before 1865 —, in addition with those of the fine collection of stuffed birds, brought together by the late Mr. J. P. van Wickevoort Crommelin, all captured in the Netherlands and received by the Museum in 1893, form for many of the species a scientific material, I however acquired the experience, when taking the care of the Birds-collection of our Museum in 1904, that many other species, even some of the commonest ones, were represented in an insufficient manner, so that it was impossible to make a somewhat serious study with the aid of this material. Moreover all the specimens of the old collection are stuffed, series of twenty and more examples of the same species. These stuffed birds are very unmanageable for comparative examination and many of them are spoiled because they were exposed during tens of years in bad cases, open to daylight, dust and mould. It is a matter of course, that in a museum must be a collection of wellstuffed specimens for the general public, but three or four specimens in different plumage or age of each species are in most cases more than sufficient; the rest of the material, being by far the largest part and the true scientific material, must be preserved as skins, not be exposed to the general public, but open only to students of ornithology. A skin-collection of indigenous birds was absolutely wanting in our Museum and as completing and enlarging of our collection of native birds was very necessary, I entered in relation with collectors in different parts of our country and had till yet the satisfaction, that many specimens, and among them some very interesting ones, came in the Museum and that gradually the base of an up-todate skin-collection of our native birds is formed.

Notes from the Leyden Museum

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Naturalis journals & series

van Oort, E. D. (1908). Contribution to our knowledge of the Avifauna of the Netherlands, being a list of all the species of birds hitherto observed, with special references to specimens in the Leyden Museum. Notes from the Leyden Museum, 30(2/3), 129–214.