​The Duke Herbarium (DUKE) supports a broad spectrum of biological research, both within Duke, and abroad. We frequently host visitors from other institutions, and DUKE specimens are cited in hundreds of publications.

Digitization activities at Duke

Digitization activities started at the DUKE herbarium more than two decades ago. The DUKE herbarium was, and still is, a major participant in several large digitization projects supported by the National Science Foundation and the Mellon Foundation.

DBI-0346653, Digitizing and Databasing of the La Selva Flora (2004-2008). PI: Donald Stone. Award Amount: $389,949.

DBI-0444586, Databasing Bryophytes from the Southeastern U.S. in the Duke University Herbarium (2005-2010) resulted in databasing fifty thousand records of mosses and liverworts and creating a Specify software-based online search of both bryophyte and lichen catalogs. PI: J. Shaw. Award Amount: $412,012.

DBI-0646452, A Plan to Rehouse and Reorganize the Vascular Plant Herbarium and Botanical Library at Duke University (DUKE) (2007-2011) resulted in the entire angiosperm collection being moved into a new physical space at Duke that was outfitted with compactors. PIs: K. Pryer and M. Windham. Award Amount: $467,691.

DBI-1115001, Digitization TCN Collaborative Research: North American Lichens and Bryophytes: Sensitive Indicators of Environmental Quality and Change (2009-2016) grant allowed us to photograph and transcribe labels of bryophytes and lichens from United States including Puerto Rico and Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico. PIs: F. Lutzoni and J. Shaw. Award Amount: $292,066.

DBI-1206196 Digitization TCN: Collaborative: The Macrofungi Collection Consortium: Unlocking a Biodiversity Resource for Understanding Biotic Interactions, Nutrient Cycling and Human Affairs (2012-2017) resulted in imaging part of the fungal herbarium and placing the DUKE fungal database on Mycoportal [Subaward to R. Vilgalys from NC State U.]. Award Amount: $237,681.

DBI-1304861 Collaborative Research: Digitization TCN: The Macroalgal Herbarium Consortium: Accessing 150 Years of Specimen Data to Understand Changes in the Marine/Aquatic Environment (2013-2018), resulted in imaging over 4000 sheets of red algae from the DUKE algae collection built by Prof. R. Searles [Subaward to K. Pryer from UNC-CH]. Award Amount: 138,696.

DBI-1410439 Digitization TCN: Collaborative Research: The Key to the Cabinets: Building and Sustaining a Research Database for a Global Biodiversity Hotspot (2014-2019 -- SERNEC consortium). In this project, Duke vascular plants from the Southeast were digitized [Subaward to M. Windham from UNC-CH]. Award Amount: $343,596.

DBI-1802446 Digitization TCN: Collaborative Research: The Pteridological Collections Consortium: An integrative approach to pteridophyte diversity over the last 420 million years (2018-2022) project resulted in digitization of Duke collections of ferns and lycophytes [M. Windham and K. Pryer received a subaward from UNC]. Award Amount: $67,231.

DBI-2001500 Digitization TCN: Collaborative Research: Building a global consortium of bryophytes and lichens: keystones of cryptobiotic communities (2020-2023). PIs: J. Shaw and F. Lutzoni. Award Amount: $187,210.

DBI-2152585Accessioning and curating the BING peatmoss (Sphagnum) collection into DUKE (2022-2024), is funding to incorporate the peatmoss herbarium of the late Richard Andrus at DUKE. PI: J. Shaw. Award Amount: $250,856.

Mellon Foundation grant nr. 11100624 funded a flatbed scanner and imaging of all DUKE vascular plant type specimens in 2011. This was in collaboration with The Global Plants Initiative (GPI). Award Amount: $76,000. View DUKE type specimens on JSTOR Global Plants here.

Mellon Foundation grant nr. 41300646. Identifying Those Pesky Mustards: The Boechera Digitization Project. Award Amount: $5,000.

Collections-based Research
by Duke Scientists

Active Loan Program

Much of the research role of the collection is fulfilled through its active loan program. For example, from 2005 to 2009, DUKE lent over 17,000 specimens to outside researchers (thus permitting scientists at other institutions to access our data) and borrowed over 32,000 specimens (thus allowing DUKE-affiliated scientists access to the data from other collections).

showing 33923 specimens loaned from 2005 to 2009
17445 specimens loaned by Duke from 2005 to 2009