Collecting localities



Biographical data


Rosenberg, Carl Benjamin Hermann Baron von


(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 1: Cyclopaedia of collectors)


Born: 1817, Darmstadt, Germany. Died: 1888, The Hague, Holland.



Already developed an interest in natural sciences and travelling, when still a child; he came to the D.E.I. as a private soldier, and acted surveyor in Sumatra for 16 years, from 1840-42 as assistant of Junghuhn. From 1856-59 he was in the employ of the Topographical Service at Batavia, joining a New Guinea Expedition in 1858 (see below) as draughtsman. The next year he was transferred to the Civil Service and was placed at the disposal of the Governor ofthe Moluccas; acting Civil Administrator in S. Ceram, instructed to make a map of Ceram; since 1860 in charge of surveying only. In 1862 he went on sick-leave to Java and in June of that year appointed offical in charge of natural science investigations and collector for the Museum at Leiden, stationed in Ambon. In 1866 he went on European furlough and was reappointed in 1868, arriving in Ternate early in September. He made extensive travels in the eastern part of the Archipelago, and retired towards the end of 1871.

In proportion to the extent of his travels, the results are pretty poor; he is charactarized by Wichmann as a ‘Müssiggänger’ (= idler) who did not even take the trouble to visit the interior.

Author of ethnological and ornithological papers, and of a book on his stay in the Malay Archipelago.1

Uvaria rosenbergiana Scheff. was named after him.


Collecting localities:1

N. Sumatra, Batak Lands (Oct. 2, 1840-Jan. 4, 1845), partly in company with Junghuhn, visiting Padang Lawas etc.; the first years headquarters at Pertibie, since April 1843 at Tobing; in Oct. 1844 transferred to Siboga; he made a voyage on a warbrig to Baros-Singkel and Trumon, and was transferred to Padang in Jan. 1845.-W. Sumatra, Padang Highlands (Jan. 11, 1845-1856), making trips to IX Kota (Apr. 29-July 2, 1845), to Agam and IV Kota (June 24-Oct. 28, 1849), to the eastern districts of the Highlands (May 29-Aug. 8, 1852), an ascent of G. Talang (May 27-June 8, 1854), stay at Brakian (Febr. 28-March 25, 1856); his stay in W. Sumatra was interrupted by some visits to the islands west of it: to the Mentawai Islands (March 24-May 9, 1847; March 24-June 9, 1849; Aug. 27-Sept. 8, 1852)2, to P. Enggano (Sept. 10-24, 1852), to the Banjak Islands (July 12-Aug. 25, 1853), to Nias (Sept. 6, 1854-Sept. 11, 1855),3 and to Hog-Island or Simaloer (Sept. 13-26, 1855).-1858. Voyage in the ‘Etna’ (cf. also J.H. Croockewit) to the SW. and N. coast of Dutch New Guinea (von Rosenberg following in the bark ‘Atie Atul Barie’).4 Sailing from Ambon (March 15); P. Adi (20); Karoefa River (25-28); Bight of Kaimana (30); Speelmans Bay (Apr. 2); Arigoena (= Argoeni) Bay (5); Triton Bay (12), Lakahia Isl.; Timbona (= Etna) Bay; departure (Apr. 24) for the N. coast: Doreb (May 14); sailing (June 17) for Humboldt Bay (staying June 23-July 2, making some tours by land to Cape Bonpland etc.); back in Ambon (21).-From April 26, 1859-Dec. 17, 1861, stationed in Ceram,5 making a tour to the Papua Islands in 1860:6 leaving Wahai (July 2); Misoöl (4-9); Batanta (11); Waigeo(e) (12-17); Batanta (23); Salawati(e) (Samate on the 24th, and western part); via Misoöl (Aug. 7) back to Wahai (30).-1863-64. Tour to N. Celebes:7 Gorontalo (Apr. 2-May 7, 1863); trip to Medelido (May 8-21); starting (June 7) a tour along the S. coast of the Gulf of Tomini going as far as Pos(s)o (Centr. Celebes) and back (the trip covering 34 days), visiting: the mouth of the Bongka River (E. Peninsula) (June 26-30), P. Japara (July 4) and the opposite coast (5), etc.; back at Gorontalo (10); to Lake Limbot(t)o (Aug. 10), staying at Ajer Panas (10-27), at Limboto (Aug. 28-Sept. 5) and Panybi (Sept. 7-15); Gorontalo (Sept. 16-Oct. 20); crossing the peninsula to the north (Oct. 21-27) to Kwandang (= Koeandang), making a trip to the gold-diggings at Soemala(t)ta (Oct. 28-Nov. 3); Kwandang (Nov. 4-6); Gorontalo (7-15); Bone, E of Gorontalo (16-26); Gorontalo (Nov. 27-Apr. 12, 1864); Bone (Apr. 13); Toelabollo (Apr. 14-May 20); Gorontalo (May 21-June 12); Togean (= Schildpad) Islands in the Gulf of Tomini (June 21-23); back at Gorontalo (June 24-Aug. 16); on account of a severe attack of rheumatism to Kema and Manado (staying Aug. 19-Sept. 6); to Tondano (7-12), taking hot baths at Passo (Sept. 12-Oct. 2), via Empong and Manado back to Kema, on the way making a trip to Lake Linoe; Kema (Oct. 14-Nov. 27); embarking for Ambon (28). In Dec. 1864 back in Ambon again.8-1865. Tour to the SE. Moluccas.9 Sailing from Ambon (Jan. 6) to the Aroe Islands: Dobo (arriving the 22nd, 1½ months’ stay, exploring P. Wamar and part of the S. coast of P. Wokam; headquarters at kp. Wokam on P. Wokam (since March 8); back to Dobo (Apr. 16); sailing (May 2) for P. Kobroör, Wonoembai (= Manoembai) Distr. (May 5-June 7); Maikoor (June 12-July 27), at Wangal etc.; when in the latter island, Rosenberg himself was ill part of the time and sent his collectors to P. Trangan (July 6-12) and Wangal-East (16-22); embarking (27) for the Kei (= Kai) Islands: Groot Kei (= Noehoetjoet), at Larrat (July 30-Aug. 6); Doellah, chief kampong of Klein Kei, said to be situated on Isl. Doellah (= probably Toeal) (Aug. 10-30), visiting the adjacent islands Tiando (= prob. Tajandoe), Tjonfolokker, etc.; P. Koor (= Koer) (Sept. 2-3); P. Tijoor (= Tioör) (Sept. 5); Watoebe(l)la Islands: P. Kassoewoei (= Kasioei) and P. Watoebela (5-8); Goram (= Gorong) Islands: P. Manawoka (10-16), P. Goram (= Gorong) (17-30); back in Ambon (Oct. 5).-1868. From September staying in Ternate, making some minor tours: to Oba and Dodinga in Halmaheira (Sept. 30-Oct. 1), to Tidore (Oct. 2), etc. At the end of the year sailing for NW. New Guinea, Vogelkop: Sor(r)ong (Dec. 24-28).-1869. Proceeding to Geelvink Bay (staying Jan.-July): Dorei (Jan. 1-18), Mefoor (= P. Noemfoor) (Jan. 21-Febr. 3), Kor(r)ido (March 12-Apr. 3), P. Japen (Ansoes) (Apr. 5-May 6), Meos (= Mios) Noem (May 7-28), Andai (June 2), Dorei (3-7) and Samate on Salawati (June 17-July 4), his hunters on Batanta too; back in Ternate (July 9).-1870. Sailing from Ternate (Jan. 11); P. Batjan: Labuha (= Laboeha) (14-16); Halmaheira: Gane (16-18); Salawati: Samate (Jan. 28-Febr. 12); NW. New Guinea: Bay of Dorei (Febr. 18), von Rosenberg setting out for Andai (staying till May 19; in April his hunters at Hattam); Bay of Dorei (19-20); Salawati: Samate (May 28-June I); back in Ternate (June 20).10

According to the cited obituary he touched at Timor, the Banda Group, and Boeroe, during one of his tours. No further details known to me.



Mainly zoological and especially ornithological collections in the Leiden Museum; he employed native collectors.11 Many New Guinea birds (1858) went to Darmstadt (Germany).

Exceptionally he collected botanical material; 20 nos of seeds and orchids from New Guinea were presented to Teysmann in 1858;12 sometimes plants of his are cited in literature,13 evidently originally sent to Hort. Bog. and partially preserved in Herb. Bog. [BO]. In Herb. Leiden [L]: Celebes cryptogams (pres. 1864 through the intermediary of the Museum!), and some material from New Guinea (Doré), Mefoor (= P. Noemfoor) and Salawat(t)i (pres. 1870 ditto).



(1) C.B.H. von Rosenberg: ‘Der Malayische Archipel’ (Leipzig 1878).

(2) C.B.H. von Rosenberg: ‘De Mentawei-eilanden en hunne bewoners’ (Tijdschr. Ind. Taal-, Land- en Volkenk. 1, 1853, p. 399-440); ‘Geographische en ethnographische beschrijving van het district Singkel, de landen liggende langs de Simpang kanan en de Banjak eilanden, benevens eene korte aanteekening nopens de Simpang kiri’ (l.c. 3, 1854, p. 397-476); ‘Een en ander over de bewoners der Mentawei-eilanden’ (Intern. Arch. Ethnogr. 1, 1888, p. 218-219, pl. 18).

(3) J.F. Nieuwenhuis & C.B.H. von Rosenberg: ‘Verslag omtrent het eiland Nias en zijne bewoners’ (Verh. Bat. Gen. K. & W. 30, 1863, p. 1-153).

(4) C.B.H. von Rosenberg: ‘Beschrijving eener reis naar de Zuidwest- en Noord-Oostkust van Nieuw Guinea’ (Batavia 1859-62, 3 pts in Nat. Tijdschr. N.I. 19, 1859, p. 399-422; l.c. 22, 1860, p. 306-353; l.c. 24, 1862, p. 333-352).

H.D.A. van der Goes: ‘Nieuw Guinea, ethnographisch en natuurkundig onderzocht in 1858’ (Bijdr. Taal-, Land- en Volkenk. 52, 1862, p. 1-106).

The data of the above-cited papers do not fully agree; the ones cited in the itinerary are those of Rosenberg.

(5) C.B.H. von Rosenberg: ‘Beschrijving van eenige gedeelten van Ceram’ (Tijdschr. Ind. Taal-, Land- en Volkenk. 16, 1867, p. 97-182, 1 map); ‘Korte beschrijving der Teloeti-baai (Ceram)’ (Tijdschr. K.N.A.G. 2, 1877, p. 147).

(6) C.B.H. von Rosenberg: ‘Verhaal eener reis naar de Papoeasche eilanden Misool, Salawatie, Batanta en Waigeoe’ (Nat. Tijdschr. N.I. 24, 1862, p. 363-402).

(7) C.B.H. von Rosenberg: ‘Reistogten in de afdeeling Gorontalo’ (Amsterdam 1865, uitg. Kon. Inst. Taal-, Land- en Volkenk. N.I., 162 pp., 6 pl. and 4 maps).

(8) cf. Koloniaal Verslag for 1864.

(9) C.B.H. von Rosenberg: ‘Reis naar de Zuidoostereilanden gedaan in 1865 op last der Regeering van Nederlandsch-Indië’ (’s-Gravenhage 1867, 125 pp.).

(10) C.B.H. von Rosenberg: ‘Reis naar de Geelvinkbaai op Nieuw Guinea in de jaren 1869 en 1870’ (Kon. Inst. Taal-, Land- en Volkenk. N.I. 1875, p. 1-153, 21 pl. incl. portr. and maps).

(11) cf. Veth: ‘Overzicht van hetgeen ... gedaan is voor de kennis der Fauna van Ned.-Indië’ (Dr’s thesis, Leiden 1879), p. 138-139, 145-150, 158-161.

(12) cf. Nat. Tijdschr. N.I. 16, 1858/59, p. 365.

(13) cf. Teysmann & Binnendijk: ‘Plantae novae in Hort. Bog. cultae’ (Nat. ‘Tijdschr. N.I. Vol. 27; some plants from Ceram and New Guinea); cf. also l.c. 29, 1867, p. 249.


biographical data:

Portrait, see sub Liter. 1 and 7; Bijdr. Taal-, Land- en Volkenk. N.I. 38, 1889, p. 130-143, w. bibliogr.; Tijdschr. K.N.A.G. 1889, p. 318; Ind. Gids 111, 1889, p.431; Encyclop. N.I. 3, 1919; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936.