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Access to the Australian National Herbarium collections

Access to the collections of the Australian National Herbarium is restricted – it is not a public facility, and access is usually only available to researchers from other institutions. Researchers wishing to access the herbarium collection should make prior arrangements with either the Curator, Brendan Lepschi (ph: 02 6246 5167) or Collection Manager, Jo Palmer (ph: 02 6246 5523). The Dicotyledon and Monocotyledon plant families are housed on three floors of the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research located on the CSIRO Black Mountain site, and the Gymnosperms, Pteridophytes and all other Cryptogams are housed in the herbarium on the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) site. See location maps.

Both sites are open Monday to Friday, except public holidays; working hours are 8.30 am to 5.00 pm on the CSIRO site, and 9.00 am to 5.00 pm at ANBG.

Any external specimens (i.e. those belonging to the visitor) required for study must first be taken to the Preparation Room for freezing for two weeks prior to study in the herbarium. This is to eliminate the risk of introducing insect pests into the herbarium. Please contact the Curator before your visit to arrange this.

No specimens or books belonging to the Australian National Herbarium may be taken from the herbarium without prior approval.

Visitors are required to observe the following:

  • please take care when handling herbarium specimens, they should not be tipped upside down or bent in any way, as the plant material is very fragile. If moving specimens from one area to another, please do so with a thick cardboard support.

  • new determinations or confirmations should be written on the determination or confirmation slips provided or visitors own supply, in permanent ink, not ballpoint or felt pens. These should then be glued as near to the specimen label as practicable.

  • permission should be sought before dissecting any part of a specimen, place the dissected pieces or loose fragments in an archival polypropylene bag and attach to the sheet with a plastic paperclip.

  • all specimens that have had name changes should be left in a pile on the bench for updating in the computer databases and on the specimen folders, please notify the Curator or relevant staff member of their presence.

  • please return specimens that are no longer required and do not have name changes, in a tidy fashion to their original pigeon hole.

  • if fragments of specimens are required for future analysis, please notify Curator or relevant staff member and annotate herbarium specimens with visitors name, date, institution and purpose of study on labels provided.

  • specimens required on loan should be set aside and the Curator notified, an official loan request is required from the visitor’s institution.

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