The role played by the Rijksherbarium in the progress of Asian botany is of course closely interwoven with the history of exploration and phytography, and its evaluation needs, therefore, a background setting in the development of scientific botany in the East. The Rijksherbarium was founded after a decade in which, for the second time, the knowledge of the Malesian flora made a big jump forward, this time on a large scale, and on a professional level, by many persons, in a definite and successful way.