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UNM Herbarium Policy

photos of Chamaesyce albomarginata, Erodium texanum, Rosa woodsii
Chamaesyce albomarginata, Erodium texanum, Rosa woodsii © 2004 R. Sivinski

Donating Specimens

(Modified from the UC-Jeps Herbaria policy on donating specimens)

New acquisitions result primarily from non-profit agency staff collections, exchange programs with other herbaria, gifts from native plant enthusiasts, and faculty, staff and student collections.

In general, our focus is to accession vascular plants, mosses and lichens from New Mexico and surrounding southwestern states and northern Mexico. We have an on-going exchange program with several southwestern herbaria.

Because of limited specimen processing resources and storage capacity, specimens submitted for accessioning in the University of New Mexico Herbarium should generally meet the criteria detailed as follows:

  • Be well-prepared, with sufficient material to occupy a standard herbarium sheet (unless rarity dictates otherwise). Extraneous plants and dirt should be removed (note associates and substrate on label if relevant, not as part of the specimen!).
  • Possess fertile structures and/or other critical identifying features appropriate to the plant group.
  • Be accompanied by ready-to-mount labels (permanent ink on acid free paper) with complete label data.
In addition, we particularly desire obtaining:
  • Uncommon or otherwise interesting plants from New Mexico. This includes range extensions, material from under-collected areas, and significant recollections or similar vouchers.
  • Good collections from the southwestern United States, especially if uncommon or otherwise interesting.
  • Specimens from Mexico.
  • Asteraceae from the Pacific Basin, including Australasia.
  • Representatives of the Asteraceae)
  • Cultivated material only if the locality of the wild source population is indicated and falls within the above criteria.

Requesting Loans

The UNM Herbarium loans specimens to established, scientifically recognized institutions for use in conducting taxonomic research by reputable scientists or their graduate students. Loan requests should be addressed to the Herbarium Curator, Timothy K. Lowrey, and include the nature of the research and proposed duration of the loan.

Requests should be sent on institutional letterhead. If using e-mail, the request should originate from the supporting faculty member's e-mail account and addressed to Timothy K. Lowrey (tlowrey (at)

Loans are generally made for one year. Extensions of the loan period may be granted upon request to the curator. Transfers of loans may be made with the permission of the curator. No portion of the specimens on herbarium sheets may be removed without prior approval of the Curator of the Herbarium.

Borrowing institutions must meet acceptable standards for security, storage environment, and handling of specimens. Outgoing loans are always packed in acid-free species folders. We expect the researcher to maintain the specimens in their original folders and not transfer them to newsprint or newspaper, as the acid and ink are detrimental to the specimens. Returning loans should be packed carefully to avoid damaging the specimens and insured at the minimum cost for tracking purposes.

Any publications resulting from the use of herbarium specimens should acknowledge the UNM Herbarium by our acronym UNM and submit a copy of the publication to the UNM Herbarium.

photo of files, volunteer and packages
© 2003 J. Mygatt