The University of Florida Herbarium is a museum collection of historic importance with specimens dating back into the mid-1800’s. Collection access is managed to preserve the fragile specimens and the integrity of the collection.

The Museum recognizes that a collection of this nature would serve little purpose if there were no use of the material whatsoever. Our guidelines balance collection use and conservation.

Arranging a Visit

Visitors wishing to use a collection are requested to contact a designated staff member of the appropriate collection in order to arrange a visit. This will allow us to schedule the visit, have staff available to assist, and make sure the collection will be available for use so that the goals of the visitor may be accomplished. Contact and location information is available on each of the collection pages.

Please see our Plan Your Visit page for hours, directions and parking information.

Collection Access

Food and Beverages

Incoming Specimen Pest Control Policy

All specimens arriving to the herbarium must be decontaminated to reduce the possibility of introducing insect pests. Typically, incoming material is frozen for 7-14 days and then stored in insect-proof herbarium cabinets. Alternatively, material may be fumigated at the University of Florida Pest Control facility (this usually takes only a day or two). Contact the herbarium staff to make arrangements. Please note, if you plan to be here for only a few days, then you must mail your specimens to be frozen in advance of your visit. See our Pest Control and Fumigation Policy for more information.

Collection Organization

Accessioned vascular plant collections are stored in our compactor room (385E). There are additional acquired herbaria collections (Angus K. Gholson; Rollins College; White Oak Plantation), mostly not accessioned, stored in other areas. Accessioned bryophyte and lichen collections are stored in room 385.

Compactor System

Specimen Arrangement and Filing

Specimen Handling Guidelines

Herbarium specimens are fragile and most are irreplaceable. Please handle them with care. Some specimens were obtained by collectors who hiked and camped for days in remote areas. Some may represent rare plants with only a few specimens in existence.

★ Specimens should be stored in herbarium cabinets, unless you are actively working with them. Never leave them out over night or unattended for long periods.

★ Herbarium cabinet doors should be securely closed unless you are in front of the cabinet retrieving or viewing specimens.

Handling of Mounted Herbarium Sheets

Removal of Material from Specimens (destructive sampling)

Photography of Specimens
If you wish to photograph specimens, please review our photograph agreement. If the photos you take are only snapshot style for research purposes, you do not need to sign the agreement. If you plan to publish the images, please sign the agreement. Specimens may not be turned upside down for photocoping, such as for label data.

Annotation Guidelines
Collection users are encouraged to annotate specimens whenever a determination may be improved and to document the use of the specimen in a project. Visitors are expected to bring their own preprepared annotation slips.

Unmounted Herbarium Specimens

Loans

No specimens may be removed from the herbarium collection without proper loan authorization and forms. Loans are made in accordance with the University of Florida Herbarium loan policies. Visitors, after consultation with herbarium staff, may select specimens for loan. Specimens generally need repair before they are loaned and it is likely they will be shipped later. A formal written request for the loan must be received from the administrator of your herbarium before the material will be sent.

Special Considerations