Fonds SC677 - Oluna Ceska and Adolf Ceska fonds

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Oluna Ceska and Adolf Ceska fonds

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1997-2021 (Contribution)
    Adolf Ceska
  • 1997-2021 (Creation)
    Oluna Ceska

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Physical description

0.36 linear meters (2 boxes, 1 OS box)

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Biographical history

Oldriska (Oluna) Ceska was born in Prague on July 1, 1938, and died on November 9, 2022, in Victoria, BC.
After finishing high school, Oluna studied biology/mycology at Charles University in Prague and married her fellow student Adolf, with whom she immigrated to Victoria, BC, in 1969.
At UVIC, she worked as a lab assistant and research associate at the UVIC Biological Department with Dr. Derek Styles and Dr. Michael Ashwood-Smith, where she discovered and described a previously unknown compound, Coriandrin, in cilantro.
She was a founding member of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society (SVIMS), where she channeled all the energy previously given to the Victoria Natural History Society and Vancouver Island Rock and Alpine Garden Society.
In 2004, Oluna started a long-term mushroom survey of Observatory Hill. After almost 15 years and over 550 visits, she found about 1,450 fungal species in an area of about 75 hectares. COVID-19 and an aggressive form of small-cell carcinoma ended her unique research project.
Over 10,000 of her mushroom collections are deposited in the UBC herbarium. Based on her collections, mycological experts described several new species, and named Cortinarius ceskarum and Inocybe ceskae, in Oluna's honour.

Custodial history

Donated by Adolf Ceska, 2022-2023.

Scope and content

The fonds is comprised of botanical illustrations and field journals by Oluna Ceska, with additional information contributed by Adolf Ceska. This includes, eight field journals of mycofloristic (mushroom) surveys with detailed illustrations by Oluna Ceska. Each specimen has been labelled by name, as well as by the location, date, and substrate where it was found. Additional observations include physical characteristics, smell, size, and spore size. The research focuses primarily on the southern Vancouver island region. Many of the studied specimens are from Observatory Hill, Victoria. Additional research locations include the Gulf Islands, Haida Gwaii, the BC mainland, the Yukon, Washington, and Oregon.

The fonds also consists of 9 survey reports of macrofungi on Observatory Hill that were researched and compiled by Oluna, with photos of specimens taken by Adolf. The reports describe species of fungi that were found, their location, as well as environmental factors that impact fungi growth.

In addition to the notebooks and reports relating to mushrooms, the fonds includes illustrations of flora on Southern Vancouver Island.

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Some items have been digitized and are available through the University of Victoria Libraries' Digital Collections:

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The sketchbooks relate to specimens deposited in the herbarium at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (University of British Columbia).

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Created 2022-11-25

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  • English

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