Packets of Leeuwenhoek specimens were cautiously removed from the seventeenth-century letters.
Small portions of each specimen were removed and tabulated, ready for microscopical analysis.
Specimens for scanning electron microscopy and aqueous reconstitution were kept free of outside contamination.
The scanning electron microscope stubs, gold-coated, are stored in a purpose-built container at the Royal Society.
The specimens available for microscopic study are now in the blue packets. The original material remains untouched and
uncontaminated by the modern world, and will thus be available for future analysts to study with methods not yet envisaged.