On this page we seek to provide some basic resources to assist with the proper collection and preparation of specimens for deposit in herbaria. Given the great deal of time and effort involved in specimen collection and preparation, and the subsequent resources required to house and protect said specimens in a herbarium, it is important to make each specimen as scientifically valuable (complete) as possible.

For a quick background on the use of herbaria, and ways to collect and prepare specimens such as to maximize their utility, consult the attached article. There are several web resources offering information to collectors, including here, here, and here, and if you prefer your web pages without an Australian accent, here.

Specimen Driers

It is important to dry specimens quickly and thoroughly after collection, in order to preserve their features (especially color), and to contribute to their longevity as herbarium specimens. It is additionally pragmatically important while on field trips, on order to free up scarce pressing supplies for more specimens! This article details a particularly effective and simple field drier that has been invaluable to recent Duke herbarium field trips, whenever we weren't able to tie the presses to the roof of the car, that is.

Mail Merge Documents for Label Preparation

The quality and utility of a specimen is largely determined by the quality of the associated label data. The mail merge tool in Microsoft Word allows for the convenient generation of formatted herbarium labels directly from a spreadsheet of collection data. Here we provide examples for two different types of labels, and give quick introductory instructions on their use.

Mail Merge Instructions

Herbarium Labels: Template and Datafile

Annotation Labels: Template and Datafile

An example herbarium label produced using these mail merge documents:

    • Herbarium label example
    • dries real quick, oman
    • dries real quick, oman
    • Photo Credit: Carl Rothfels 2009
    • drying plants. and pants.
    • drying plants. and pants.
    • Photo Credit: Carl Rothfels 2009
  • background