Wood Collecting #1: International Wood Collectors Society

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Blog entry by mmh posted 05-31-2009 02:57 PM 2827 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Wood Collecting series Part 2: Rudolph Block's Collection: Canes of Various Woods (1400 pcs. circa 1928) »

If you are interested in wood working, then chances are high that you just can’t get enough of different samples or various species of woods, or even the same wood with different graining. Each species of wood is so unique and the warmth that it reflects as having been a living tree is always amazing to view. As a craftsperson, I can only hope to unveil the beauty in each piece I create.

This brings to mind that many wood lovers have a collection. It may be a simple and humble collection of a dozen items or so, or it may be vast and categorized in a volume of hundreds of samples identified with the botanical name. Or, you may not even own a piece, but have an interest in wood and wooden items. What ever your interest and status, I invite you to become a member of the International Wood Collectors Society (IWCS).

The International Wood Collectors Society publishes a journal, World of Wood which features articles, many from members about collecting, identifying, visiting sites, scientific data, and other interests dealing with wood. The membership is global so the contents of each journal can be quite varied. They have organized meetings around the globe so that maybe you can attend one to meet fellow wood people like yourself. There is an auction for fundraising and they are currently looking for donations of craft items to offer to sell or auction to members or the general public. They can also teach you how to start a formal collection and supply samples that you do not already have to add to your collection. This is a NON-PROFIT organization, and donations of wood, wood items or of monetary form are greatly appreciated.

So please visit: and become a member! Your membership will include 6 issues of World of Wood and a great connection to some interesting and knowlegable people. You can tell them member 9241 sent you.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

2 comments so far

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3514 posts in 2511 days

#1 posted 05-31-2009 03:14 PM

Now, I also invite you to Show & Tell about a favorite piece of wood. I love the sunray pattern of Claro Black Walnut such as seen in the handle I made for my husband’s cane #004:

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View mmh's profile


3514 posts in 2511 days

#2 posted 05-31-2009 08:20 PM

Here’s an interesting collection: Wood Collection at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History:

Almost since its inception, the Smithsonian Institution has acquired botanical collections for scientific study. In the 1960s William L. Stern, then Chairman of the Department of Botany, played an important role in reorganizing and promoting the growth of what is now the Wood Collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. In 1960 the wood collections of the Division of Agriculture and Wood Products of the Smithsonian’s Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History) were transferred to the Department of Botany. These collections formed the basis for a Division of Woods, the name of which was changed to Division of Plant Anatomy in 1963.

Today the Wood Collection contains ca. 42,500 specimens representing almost 3000 genera. Approximately 60% of the specimens are vouchered, with most of the vouchers deposited in the U.S. National Herbarium (US). However, a significant number of voucher specimens are deposited in other herbaria. For example, H. H. Bartlett collections are frequently vouchered by specimens in the herbarium of the University of Michigan (MICH).

Approximately 5000 microscope slides are associated with the Wood Collection. Additionally, a number of card files are tied to the collection. Much, but not all, of the data in these files are being made available electronically in the Wood Collection database. A common name reference for many specimens, however, was not converted to electronic form.

For more info visit:

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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