The University of Florida Herbarium is a unit in the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH). Our acquisitions policy is based upon the Museum’s Collections Policy.
Under Florida Statutes § 1004.56, the Museum is empowered to “…accept, preserve, maintain, or dispose of the specimens and materials…” to build its research collections.
Acquisitions: The University of Florida Herbarium acquires specimens from:
- field collecting by staff and students;
- gifts or bequests from individuals, departments, institutions and private companies;
- exchange from other institutions;
- specially negotiated acquisition of orphaned collections.
Acquisitions from outside sources can be accepted in two ways
- Direct acquisition by the Florida Museum of Natural History or by the State of Florida for the Museum.
- Acquisition by the University of Florida Foundation, Inc. on behalf of the Museum. Acquisitions made in this manner must be accompanied by a Deed of Gift.
The University of Florida Herbarium generally accepts specimens without stipulations and reserves the right to determine the appropriate use of the specimens. Specimens deemed not appropriate for the collection or the current development policy may be disposed of in a prudent manner.
Criteria: Decisions to acquire collections can only be made by the Curator / Collection Manager of the Herbarium. Material will be evaluated based on quality and resource requirements (space, budget*, staff). The FLMNH Administration and Space Committee will be consulted in connection with significant acquisitions.
To be accepted for the permanent collection, specimens must:
- have scientific importance;
- be of reasonable quality;
- include adequate documentation (i.e., complete label data and/or field notes);
- have been collected and transported in compliance with all applicable laws and written evidence can be provided to substantiate this compliance.
The UF Herbarium Collection Acquisition Checklist for Collectors provides more details on specimen set requirements and processing protocols.
* Researchers depositing large sets are expected to provide sufficient funding for the processing and storage of these materials. Please consult our staff and the UF Herbarium Estimated Cost of Services and Supplies document.
Priorities for Acquisition (Desiderata). The University of Florida accepts vascular plant, bryophyte and lichen specimens from anywhere in the world that meet our criteria. Specimens must be legally collected and shipped. Exchange specimens are traded in accordance with our exchange agreement. Our collection priorities include:
- floristic regions: Southeastern/Southwestern United States and the Neotropics, particularly the Caribbean region (West Indies, Mexico, Central America and northern South America);
- plant taxonomic groups from any geographic region: Cactaceae, Cyperaceae, Melastomataceae, Poaceae, and Simaroubaceae;
- plant thematic groups from any geographic region: weeds, invasive species and cultivated plants.
Accessioning, the process of officially adding the specimen to the collection, is the responsibility of the Collection Manager. Each specimen will be prepared in accordance with museum specimen standards and will receive an accession number.
Personal collections may not be maintained at the University of Florida Herbarium in accordance with the policies of the FLMNH and due to space, staff and conflict of interest issues. All specimens housed in the Herbarium are considered the property of the Herbarium with the exception of material borrowed via inter-institutional loan agreement.
Appraisals in order to establish the tax-deductible value of gifts or purchases may not be given by herbarium staff. However, where appropriate, staff may assist a donor to find a qualified professional outside the University of Florida system to provide appraisals.