This paper describes the work of Clara Ehrenberg (1838–1915), especially her engagement in the curation of one of the most scientifically important early microbiological/micropalaeontological collections in the world, now located at the Museum für Naturkunde zu Berlin. Her meticulous work with very fragile microscopic slides, as well as accomplishments in the field of curation and taxonomy, and her detailed observations and fine drawings, are acknowledged here. Furthermore, it is shown how Clara, in her autobiography, drew attention to her family and to her father’s (C. G. Ehrenberg, 1795–1876) life, which was embedded in the Berlin university realm of the time. The descriptions in her memoirs are by far more wide reaching than just personal. Clara Ehrenberg was a close observer of the constantly changing world, a process which accelerated dramatically in the rapidly expanding city of Berlin and had, due to nineteenth century industrial inventions and progress, an impact on the daily lives of her family and her contemporaries with consequences lasting to our own time.

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