I N T R O D U C T I O N
 

         A sigh of relief escapes me now that I have come to my last task, the
writing of an introduction. However, at the same time I feel a kind of regret,
for, although this administrative task was sometimes a burden, it had in the
end become very dear to me. Editing a new Code of nomenclature is a
wonderful experience. We learn to be careful with regard to the words we
use, and we realize how difficult it is to express clearly what we have in mind.
After some time one even begins to doubt his competence for this task.
Luckily there is a consolation, viz. that one observes similar misgivings in
his colleagues on the committee.

         Never before I had to go through such a huge pile of scripts in order
to prepare such a small amount of printed pages. Moreover, I never before
came across so much difference of opinion with regard to so few words, and
never before I had to pay so much attention to commas and semicolons, initial
capitals and full-stops. Still, let no-one misinterpret these words: the wellfare
of botany was always at the back of our mind. We botanists may not be
very competent in expressing ourselves in fine language, this work cannot
be left to others, for a Code of botanical nomenclature has to be written by
botanists, since it deals with botany and is intended for the use of botanists.
And nobody needs to be sorry for us that we had to spend so much time
on this work. We really enjoyed this peculiar mixture of botany, interpretation
of words, logical thinking, exactness, policy and practical usefulness. In fact
we began to feel that it would be difficult to find something more living
than such a seemingly dead thing as a Code of botanical nomenclature.

         I feel that the user of this Code would not be satisfied if I ended my
introduction with the expression of these general items. Most botanists
will like to hear something with regard to the procedure we followed in the
preparation of this Code. However, before giving these data, I will first of
all make an acknowledgement. Without the constant help of my collaborator,
Dr F. A. Stafleu, neither I myself nor the other members of the Editorial
Committee would ever have succeeded in giving this Code its present shape
in such a relatively short time. This is due to his ability, his hard work and
to the fact that he and I could do the work in such a perfect harmony.

         Our procedure.  Originally I had planned to start the work of the Editorial
Committee as soon as the official report of the sessions on nomenclature of
the Stockholm Congress would be ready and available to the members of
the Committee. This seemed to be the best method, for then every member
would be able to judge for himself what the Congress actually had decided.
The manuscript of the report (mainly based on the minutes made by
Mrs Sprague) was ready and sent to Sweden in January 1951. However,
difficulties with the printing beyond the power of the Swedish Congress
Organisation, caused a considerable delay. I waited till June 1951, but as it
became clear that it still would take several months before the report would
be available I decided to adopt another method of working.

         With the aid of my own copy of the report I compiled for each Article
and Recommendation the various decisions taken by the Congress. In this

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    International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, 1952  —  Stockholm Code

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text: © 1952, IAPT  —  web-edition: © 2014, Paul van Rijckevorsel

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way a first draft of the Code was prepared, in which the decisions of the
Congress and my comments on them were listed. This draft was circulated
among the members of the Editorial Committee. This Committee had in the
meantime suffered a severe loss by the death of our honoured colleague,
Prof. Mattfeld in January 1951. This meant that we would not be able to
issue the german text at the same time as the english (official) and french
texts, for our Committee, afraid for further delay, thought it not advisable to
coöpt at this stage of the work another german speaking member.

         A huge pile of comments was received. These comments too were
circulated among the members, and in the meantime a provisional second
draft was compiled. Already in Stockholm it was foreseen that in the course
of the work a meeting of the members of the committee would be necessary.
We all agreed to a suggestion by Dr Sprague to hold this conference at
Cheltenham in November 1951. This date was chosen because Dr Merrill
was at that time in England so that at least one of the American members
of the Editorial Committee would be able to attend. Itwas, of course, a
drawback that no funds were available to enable Dr Rickett to come to
England. Luckily Dr Rickett had sent very extensive and particularly
valuable comments, so that we knew his opinion on most of the controversial
points. For particulars on this conference see Merrill’s account in Taxon
1(3): 35~36. 1952.

         Three days of hard work in Dr and Mrs Sprague’s hospitable residence
at Cheltenham, under the able and by all of us greatly appreciated presidency
of Dr Merrill, resulted in the compilation of a new draft, known in our
Committee as the “Cheltenham draft”. This again was circulated among the
members of the Committee. Once more a fair number of comments came in
and after the latter too had been circulated my office was flooded by a
stream of “comments on comments”.

         By this time it had become February 1952. As the 8th International
Botanical Congress will be held in July 1954, it seemed desirable that proposals
for alterations in the Code should reach the Rapporteur before September 1953.
In order to be in a position to make useful proposals, one will need at least
one year to study the effects of the new Code. For this reason it seemed
obvious to me that the Code would have to be issued at the latest in June 1952.
Therefore I decided in March 1952 to compile a final draft. The responsibility
for this decision rests entirely with me. I took it because I felt myself bound
by promises given to the Stockholm Congress and to the Organizing
Committee of the Congress to be held at Paris, which has asked me to organize
the Nomenclature sessions. I fully admit that further correspondence might
have given a still higher degree of perfection to our work, but I realized that
on the other hand absolute perfection would never be reached. A further
delay would hamper the work of all taxonomists and would be disastrous to
a fruitful discussion at Paris. The final draft was circulated among the
members of the Committee in April 1952. Minor changes were made in the
printing proofs.

         When using this Code and comparing it with the third edition of the
International Rules of Botanical Nomenclature (together with the Amsterdam
Supplement) and with the report of the Stockholm Congress, one will
probably come to the conclusion that our Committee has taken some liberties
and that it may even occasionally have exceeded its authority. This may be
true, but one has to bear in mind that in Stockholm much was expressly
referred to our Committee, and that we were given considerably more freedom

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    International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, 1952  —  Stockholm Code

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text: © 1952, IAPT  —  web-edition: © 2014, Paul van Rijckevorsel

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of action than had hitherto been customary. In my opinion this was unavoidable.
Our Committee has always been careful not to make any changes that might
affect the sense of a certain article or recommendation, and in a few cases
only we decided to make changes for which we had no express authority.
The most important of the latter have been indicated in a footnote (see
Art. 82). We are convinced that these changes are based on a logical inter-
pretation of the existing rules.

         It should also be stated that our decisions were not always unanimous.
Nevertheless where more than one or occasionally two of the members were
opposed, no change has been made. This, however, was an exception. As a
rule, we came in the end to an unanimous agreement.

         We are on the other hand well aware of the fact that this Code still
contains several imperfections. That we did not try to eliminate the latter
is due to our conviction that in doing so we would have transgressed our
authority.

         One of the members of the Editorial Committee had a heavy extra task
to accomplish. This was Dr Baehni, who prepared a French translation. This
critical translation often inspired a clearer wording of the English text.

         I have already mentioned the important work done by Dr Merrill and
Dr Rickett. Another fortunate circumstance was that we had on our Com-
mittee the “grand old man” of botanical nomenclature, Dr T. A. Sprague. His
numerous valuable suggestions led to improvements that will smooth the path
of future plant taxonomists. Dr Robyns great knowledge of French, English
and Dutch was of extreme importance for the critical expression and co-ordi-
nation of the changes that were accepted by the Congress and his presence
on the Committee meant a real alleviation of the Rapporteur’s task. He
studied the French translation’ and his thorough criticism proved to be of
great value for Dr Baehni’s work. The latter is, however, sole responsible
for the French text.

         The Editorial Committee has taken two more liberties. It changed the
title into “Code” and it changed the numbering of the Recommendations.
The latter change was already recommended by Prof. Rousseau. Of course
we also abandoned the bis, ter, etc. numbers.

         Finally I wish to express the hope that we will not change our Code at
every subsequent Congress. There are more important things to do! May the
present Code obtain the approval of a very large number of botanists. The
Editorial Committee is convinced of the shortcomings of this Code, but it
hopes that it will be given a fair trial.

         The work of the Committees of Botanical Nomenclature is supported by
annual subsidies from I.U.B.S. and U.N.E.S.C.O. We gratefully acknowledge
this financial support, which enables us to proceed with our work. An important
grant towards the publication of the Code was given by I.U.B.S.; we want
to express our sincere appreciation of this generous help.

         I will not end this introduction without expressing my gratitude to the
administrative secretary of the International Bureau for Plant Taxonomy and
Nomenclature, Miss W. Keuken, for the very accurate way in which she
typed the material, and to my assistant Mr E. A. Mennega for his help in
reading the proofs.

J. Lanjouw

Botanical Museum and Herbarium
of the State University at Utrecht.

May 1952.

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    International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, 1952  —  Stockholm Code

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text: © 1952, IAPT  —  web-edition: © 2014, Paul van Rijckevorsel

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