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Daniel Solander

Daniel Carlsson Solander or Daniel Charles Solander (19 February 1733 – 16 May 1782) was a Swedish botanist.  

Solander was born in Piteå, Norrland, Sweden and was the son of a Lutheran principal. He enrolled at Uppsala University in July 1750 and studied languages and the humanities. The professor of botany was the celebrated Carolus Linnaeus who was soon impressed by young Solander's ability and accordingly persuaded his father to let him study natural history. He traveled to England in 1760 to promote Linnaeus' new system of classification. He was an assistant librarian at the British Museum from 1763 onwards, and elected as Fellow of the Royal Society in the following year. Afterwards he held the position of Keeper of Printed Books at the British Museum.

In 1768 Solander and his fellow scientist Dr. Herman Spöring were employed by Joseph Banks, to join him on James Cook's first voyage to the Pacific Ocean on board the Endeavour. They were the botanists who inspired the name Botanist Bay (which later became Botany Bay), Cook's expedition's first landing place in Australia. Solander helped make and describe an important collection of Australian plants while the Endeavour was beached at the site of present-day Cooktown for nearly 7 weeks, after being damaged on the Great Barrier Reef. These collections later formed the basis of Banks' Florilegium.

On their return in 1771 he became Banks' secretary and librarian and lived in his house at Soho Square. In 1772 he accompanied Banks on his voyage to Iceland, the Faroes and the Orkney Islands. Between 1773 and 1782 he was Keeper of the Natural History Department of the British Museum.

Solander invented the book-form box known as the Solander box which is still used in libraries and archives as the most suitable way of storing prints, drawings, herbarium materials and some manuscripts.

He died at Banks' home in Soho Square of a stroke, aged 49.

Solander Gardens in the east end of London is named after him, as is Solander Island off the South Island of New Zealand. One of the many plants named in his honour is Nothofagus solandri. He was associated with Banks in Illustrations of the Botany of Captain Cook's Voyage Round the World, and his The Natural History of Many Curious and Uncommon Zoophytes, Collected by the late John Ellis, was published posthumously in 1786.


  • Duyker, Edward. 1998. Nature's Argonaut: Daniel Solander 1733-1782: Naturalist and Voyager with Cook and Banks. Melbourne University Press. ISBN 0-522-84753-6
  • Royal Society Archive entry on Solander
  • Serle, Percival (1949). "Solander, Daniel Charles". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. 
This article incorporates text from the public domain 1949 edition of Dictionary of Australian Biography from
Project Gutenberg of Australia, which is in the public domain in Australia and the United States of America.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Daniel_Solander". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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