Accessioning and Exchange Policy

The Duke University Herbarium strives to increase the extent and value of its collections while balancing current limitations on storage space and specimen processing resources. Priority in accessioning into the herbarium will be given to specimens with the following attributes:

  • The specimen is well-prepared, with sufficient material to occupy a standard herbarium sheet, or a packet in the case of cryptogams.
  • The specimen possesses fertile structures and/or other critical identifying features of its plant group.
  • The specimen is accompanied by complete provenance data.
  • The specimen serves as a voucher for botanical research.
  • Labels and mounting are done in the herbarium using archival materials. Students or researchers who make their own labels should consult with herbarium staff about appropriate materials and methods to be used for specimens destined for incorporation into the Duke Herbarium.
  • New acquisitions result primarily from
    1) local and regional collections by students and professional botanists,
    2) standing exchange programs with other herbaria worldwide,
    3) specimens sent as gifts for determination to Duke University researchers,
    4) gifts from non-academic professionals and native plant enthusiasts.
  • The value of the collection can be enhanced most effectively by adding to our representation from the following areas:
    1) The southeastern United States, particularly uncommon or undercollected taxa from North Carolina or from undercollected regions of the state,
    2) Latin America, particularly from Mexico and Central America, bryophytes from the Arctic, and tropical algae,
    3) Representatives of groups under study by Duke University botanists,
    4) Vouchers for studies undertaken at Duke University.
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