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Learn more about the Herbarium's collection below:


Vascular plants comprise the majority of the OS collection, having been the focus of acquisitions since the collection's founding.

Areas of specialization include flora of the northeastern United States and of temperate South America (Chile and Argentina).

Important collectors represented include those of J. A. Duke, A. Gray. E. Hodge, F. Hodge, L. S. Hopkins, T. H. Kearney, W. A. Kellerman, C. L. Lesquereux, H. N. Moldenke, J. H. Schaffner, L. M. Underwood, and H. H. Van Heurck.

The vascular plants collection currently numbers approximately 430,000 sheets.

The collection contains about 420 types of vascular plants. Other collections have not yet been examined for types.

The bryophyte collection is stored in individual packets. We have mainly mosses, of which about 80% are from Ohio, 15% from other areas in North America, and 5% from other areas of the world.

We have also incorporated the Ohio bryophytes from Oberlin College (OC). The collection numbers approximately 10,600 packets.

The lichen collection is rich in material from the Antarctic because of Emanuel Rudolph's work in that part of the world. It contains material from many areas of the world, as a result of exchange.

We have incorporated the Ohio lichens from Oberlin College (OC). The specimens are stored in individual packets and number approximately 14,100.

The core fungal collections at OS were enriched with the addition of the fungi from the Oberlin College herbarium.

The Oberlin collection contained much material from Ohio, but also had a broader sampling from throughout the United States. OS contains large numbers of collections of W. A. Kellerman, the founder of the herbarium. Many of these are fungal pathogens on angiosperms.

These specimens are in packets mounted on herbarium sheets. These fungi number approximately 40,000 specimens.

OS has an excellent slime mold collection, due mainly to the efforts of Mr. Karl Braun of Springfield, Ohio.

The collection includes the specimens of F. A. Gilbert and H. W. Keller. Keller and Braun wrote a treatment of the slime molds of Ohio that was recently published by the Ohio Biological Survey.

The collection consists of specimens mounted in the lids of small boxes, and numbers approximately 2,160 boxes.

The herbarium's collection of diatoms mounted on microscope slides is a significant one. Stored in ornate wooden cabinets, the collection is organized by collector and contains material from all parts of the world.

Collectors represented include M. A. Booth, C. van Brunt, C. G. Bush, H. van Heurck, E. & F. Hodges, C. H. Kain, P. Klausen, J. D. Möller, C. L. Peticolas, H. L. Smith, W. Smith, B. W. Thomas, E. Thum, and W. C. Walker.

There are approximately 6,700 mounted slides of diatoms.

Learn about the Herbarium's loan policies below

  1. Loans are made only to recognized institutions, not to individuals.
  2. Visitors may select specimens that they wish to borrow and set them aside for the staff to process.
  3. A letter of request (paper or email) for a loan must be sent from the borrowing institution to the Herbarium Director detailing the material to be borrowed and the individual for whom the loan is being made.
  4. The standard term for a loan is one year. Extensions made be made upon request from the borrowing institution to the Herbarium Director.
  5. Types are normally loaned for a period of six months.
  6. Loaned material is expected to be stored in metal herbarium cases and not left out in the open, in order to minimize the chance of insect infestation.

How to donate specimens

We are happy to receive donations of specimens that are vouchers for scientific studies, have historical significance, or enrich our taxonomic or geographical representation. These are expected to have been collection with the appropriate permission and/or official permits.

We only accept donations for which ownership can be transferred to the Herbarium. Please contact the Curators about depositing specimens in our collection.

The OSU herbarium maintains active exchange programs with herbaria worldwide. We can provide northeastern North American and southern South American specimens, as well as occasional material from other parts of the world. If you are interested in exchange of specimens, please contact the Director.

The Herbarium's destructive sampling policies

Fragments of specimens are not to be removed without the prior permission of the staff. This includes material for extraction of chemical constituents and DNA.

Permission for such removal is only granted when the specimen comprises sufficient material that the action will not diminish the subsequent value of the specimen. Fragment packets will be provided to contain any loose material, if they are not already on the sheet.