Visitor Policy


Researchers visiting the herbaria are requested to make arrangements prior to their visit with the Curatorial and Research Associate or the Senior Collections Associate, and are asked to register in the lobby upon arrival. Because of the possibility of the introduction of insect pests, no dried plant material may be brought into the herbarium building without prior fumigation. Individuals wishing to bring in material for comparison should make arrangements for fumigating the material well in advance of the visit.

A member of the curatorial staff will provide a brief introduction to the collections. Study carrells and dissecting microscopes are available for short-term use.

Material such as pollen, leaves and wood must not be removed from herbarium specimens without prior written consent; authorization forms for destructive sampling may be obtained from any member of the curatorial staff. As indicated, any specimen from which material is removed must be annotated with the appropriate information. Dissections or loose plant fragments should be put into packets attached to the sheets. Additional packets are available from staff members.

Annotations should be written legibly in permanent black ink on annotation labels. Labels and pens are available from staff members. Whenever possible, the annotation should include the generic name and specific epithet, authority, annotator's name (not initials only), and the date. For type specimens, we ask that the basionym and place of publication be indicated. Annotation labels should be attached so that they do not cover any printing, writing or material on the sheet. When necessary, they may be attached by one end only.

All annotated sheets should be left for herbaria staff to process and reinsert.

Specimens should be cited according to the herbarium name stamped on the sheet. The standard acronyms for the Harvard University Herbaria are:

A     Herbarium of the Arnold Arboretum
AMES  Orchid Herbarium of Oakes Ames
ECON  Economic Herbarium of Oakes Ames
FH    Farlow Herbarium
GH    Gray Herbarium
NEBC  New England Botanical Club