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Herbarium Usage Policies

Please contact Alan Franck if you have any questions.


Researchers conducting projects specifically related to plant systematics are encouraged to use the collections. Initially, such researchers must contact the Director or Curator for permission to use the collections. Standard and common sense care for the specimens must be maintained at all times, including but not limited to the following:

  • Persons working with the collection will be expected to fully understand its organization.
  • Specimens must be properly re-filed. If there is any question about the positioning of material, it should be re-filed by herbarium personnel.
  • Sheets are to be handled with care. Do not bend, break, or tear the sheets, and do not turn them face down.
  • Under no circumstances is material to be removed from a specimen without permission. Permission is also required for dissection of plant parts.
  • Loose plant pieces known to have detached from a particular sheet are to be placed in the associated fragment packet. If the sheet has no fragment packet, or is otherwise in need of repair, it should be brought to the attention of Herbarium personnel.
  • Evidence of insect damage is to be reported at once.
  • Investigators are encouraged to properly annotate the specimens. Annotations, in permanent ink or typewritten, should be made on labels of approximately 2.5 x 10 cm, and should bear, at least, the accepted name of the taxon, the name of the investigator, and the date (at least the year) of the identification.

Individuals not doing specific research work in plant taxonomy and wishing to take information from herbarium specimens will be allowed to do so on a limited basis under supervision and by appointment. Requests for supervised use of the collection will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Researchers intending to use the USF Herbarium for research are encouraged to include the use of the Herbarium in research grant proposals. Please consult with the Director before doing so.

Herbarium specimens are not to be removed from the premises without proper loan authorization and forms. Loans are made for one year to botanical institutions or departments engaged in taxonomic research. Ordinarily, loans are not made to individuals.

For instruction on preparing plant specimens, please visit The University of Florida's Herbarium Website.