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Blossoms, Beetles and Birds

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Interactive App

Blossoms, Beetles and Birds is about the pioneers in the study of natural history in 19th-century Quebec City.

The project, which was curated by Louisa Blair, involves a guided tour and a larger-than-life interactive mural in the form of a book.

Chapter I is about an extraordinary botanizing trio of aristocratic women who wandered around in the woods of Sillery in the early 1800s: Lady Dalhousie, Harriet Campbell Sheppard and Anne Mary Flower Perceval. Their discoveries made it to Kew Gardens and into the major botanical reference books of their time.

Chapter II is about other 19th-century scientists at the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec. Though most were amateurs, they too made important contributions to knowledge about Canada. This was before anyone had ever heard of the Canadian Shield or the ice age, and travel was mostly by horseback, foot, or canoe.

Chapter III is about James MacPherson Le Moine, a colourful 19th-century naturalist who was determined to interest young Quebecers in the local birdlife.

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