Published: January 1st, 2008
Revised: August 9th, 2009
How did Henrico Tode first describe the important mycotoxigenic fungus Myrothecium roridum when he first discovered it in 1790? We know, because his book is in our library. How about Pontogeneia microdictyi, a saprotroph of tropical algae discovered in March 2009? That’s in our library too. And so is just about everything in between.
Unlike most commercial environmental laboratories who have one or two reference books on their shelves to help them identify what they see, our library has thousands of books and journals. This may sound old-fashioned, but books and journals remain important even in this modern age of computers and digital databases. Many fungi have only been illustrated or discussed once or twice, and these references can be found amid the plethora of obscure books and journals in our library.
Books and journals are indispensible for other reasons too. Many fungi have not even been discovered yet. In 2007 we described the genus Baudoinia, a genus of very slow-growing, darkly-coloured fungi whose members colonize outdoor surfaces throughout the world. Our extensive library was instrumental in helping us to establish this genus as new to science.
The depth and comprehensiveness of our reference library is unmatched by other private sector laboratories. Our book and journal holdings alone are comparable in comprehensiveness to the mycological collection at the University of Toronto, which is the largest university library system in the country. Those resources, together with a reprint library numbering in the tens of thousands of research papers makes our collection one of the premier mycological reference resources in North America. It’s no wonder we have hosted numerous visiting academic mycologists from across Canada, the US, Europe, Asia and Australia who have taken advantage of this world-class resource.
Oh, and those couple of key reference books that other laboratories have on their shelves, we have those as well, and chances are we wrote them!