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The Yale Herbarium
The Yale Herbarium in the Yale Peabody Museum’s Division of Botany is an internationally recognized repository. It holds approximately 350,000 plant specimens from throughout the world, but mainly from North America, especially Connecticut and New England, and includes over 7,000 type specimens. It also contains historically important materials from early botanical collectors and was the herbarium of record for the flora of southern New England from 1864 until 1955, when that function passed to the University of Connecticut at Storrs. The Connecticut Botanical Society herbarium is housed alongside the Yale Herbarium.
Founded in 1864 by Daniel Cady Eaton from his personal library and plant collection, the Yale Herbarium is particularly strong in pteridophytes (ferns), bryophytes (liverworts, hornworts, and mosses), and grasses, thanks to the work of curators Eaton (1864–1895), Alexander Evans (1895–1947), and John Reeder (1947–1968).
Current Division of Botany personnel participate in a variety of curatorial, fieldwork, education, and outreach activities that use and enhance the Division’s holdings. Some current projects are highlighted on divisional faculty and staff pages.
Volunteers are welcome to become involved in research and support activities, including plant mounting, databasing, and digital photography. Contact the collections manager for information about volunteer opportunities.
Research in the Botany Collections
The Peabody’s curatorial divisions are governed by the Museum’s collections policies and best practices document. Collections are available to researchers for scholarly use and loans are issued to individuals at established institutions. Loans and access can be arranged through the curatorial division’s collections manager.
The Yale University Herbarium collections are maintained with the goal of balancing preservation of the integrity of specimens with their use for scientific research. While every effort is made to accommodate researchers, decisions on destructive sampling are case-by-case. No samples may be removed without the consent of the curator or collections manager and, when given, is contingent on adherence to Division of Botany’s Policy on the Destructive Sampling of Herbarium Specimens.
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The Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, publishes original research in the natural science disciplines represented by the collections of the Yale Peabody Museum’s curatorial divisions.