Normal Collection Operations

Presently, the Curator handles all aspects of collection management, with specific tasks assigned to graduate student and undergraduate student workers (e.g., pulling loans, typing out label data, mounting and filing specimens, et cetera).

Acquisition of new specimens for the collection occurs via deposition of voucher specimens from staff and students, as well as exchanges, purchases, and gifts. Specimens are sought (through exchanges and purchases) to fill taxonomic or geographic gaps in the collection, to meet the research needs of current staff, and to further the knowledge of the flora of Ohio and surrounding states. As an example, MU recently purchased ca. 22,000 specimens from South America (Argentina and vicinity) from SI. Such purchases benefit the foreign institutions by allowing them to conduct field expeditions, maintain journal subscriptions, and so on, and thus are mutually beneficial. Specimens collected by staff on research trips, and vouchers from staff and student research projects are generally accepted without question, unless the material is of poor quality. Gifts from other institutions and researchers are accepted if they advance the research and teaching goals of the herbarium. Exceptionally important collections may be accepted merely on the scientific merit of the material. Deaccession of specimens is done by the curator only, and only for duplicate or destroyed specimens. No fees are charged for access to the collection or collection data