By far the largest collection of Haeckel’s plates of plankton (222) are to be found in the Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–76 and there are to our knowledge less than 10 complete sets in the UK.
A group of us associated with the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University decided we would remedy this by making high quality digital copies of the three planktonic groups from the plates in the Challenger Reports using a high tech photographic copier and to make the unamended images available at no cost on the internet. We located a mint copy of the Reports in the archives of the Royal Society of Edinburgh – in some volumes the pages were still uncut! The archivist agreed to allow us to take three volumes of reports to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh for copying; the Botanical Gardens had just purchased a state of the art copier (Atiz BookDrive Pro). The Challenger Society for Marine Science – a UK scientific society – provided us with funding to enable this and also to visit to the Haeckel museum in Jena where we were able to acquire supporting material and information.