i’ve recently had the chance to see the ASIB: Algensammlung am Institut für Botanik der Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck (algal collection of the institute of botany).
in the little laboratory room, there are some 1500 specimens of aeroterrestrical algae and cyanobacteria (cyanoprokaryotes) stored and cultivated. every strain is grown in its own little test tube, and the entire chamber is cooled down to 12 degrees celsius to slow down their metabolism and make them low-maintenance.
the oldest specimen was collected in 1920.
apart from the scientific importance of such collections, i was impressed with the beautiful array of algae in nearly every colour.