Alfred Preudhomme de Borre 1833-1905


Alfred Preudhomme de Borreo.



Charles Francois Paul Alfred Preudhomme de Borre was born on 14 April 1833 in Jemeppe-sur-Meuse, Liège province, Belgium, to a noble family. As a young student at the University of Liège, he was influenced by his professor, Théodore Lacordaire, and his fellow students, Ernest C. Candèze and Félicen Chapuis, to study insects. By 1865, after reorganization of the Musée Royal d'Histoire Naturelle of Belgium, he was appointed curator of reptiles at the Museum. In 1870 he was commissioned by the museum director, Mr. Edouard Dupont, to organize, increase, and establish a national collection of arthropods. Motivated by Candèze and Sélys Longchamps, and with the suppport of members of the Société Entomologique de Belgique, he developed a novel method of work: collections were taken out of the Museum and sent to taxonomists in several countries for identification. Accordingly, the museum affiliated numerous collaborators. These results encouraged donation of private collections to the museum, thus assuring maintenance and utilization. In 1879, P. de Borre stated that the insect collections increased from 80,000 to more than one million specimens in nine years. He also introduced procedures for correct labeling of each specimen with locality data and collecting date. During his life he published at least 195 papers dealing with several groups, such as Odonata, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Myriapoda, Scorpionida, Crustacea, and Mollusca. His work on scarabs is dedicated to Scarabaeinae, Orphninae, and Trogidae. He married Emilie Coblenz in 1876, but after one year she died giving birth to his daughter. After that, he felt intense depression that led to disagreement with the museum director, and so in 1889 he renounced his position as curator and retired to Geneva. He died 27 February 1905 at Grand-Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland.

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln State Museum - Division of Entomology