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The Herbarium now comprises nearly 1,750,000 specimens. The corresponding curators and collection managers as well as the approximate sizes of the various collections and their special strengths are described below.

Algae (96,000 Specimens)

This collection is strong in marine algae from New England, Florida, Bermuda, and the West Indies and has good representation from all of eastern North America from Labrador and Newfoundland to Texas. Holdings are good from Central and South American coasts and exceptional from the Galapagos Islands. The Pacific coast of the United States, including Alaska, and of Canada is well represented, as are Japan, Indonesia, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Marshall Islands. The collection includes much material from classical exsiccate sets, including the Phycotheca Boreali-Americana of about 45 folios and W. H. Harvey's specimens from Australia, Ceylon, and the Friendly Islands. It also contains the former personal herbaria of W. R. Taylor and M. J. Wynne, the basis for much of their work on the systematics and floristics of seaweeds.

Bryophytes (163,000 Specimens) - type database

  • A. Harrington, Collection Manager

The bryophyte collection has more than the usual importance associated with herbaria its size, owing to a long association with research bryologists such as W. C. Steere, R. Schuster, and H. Crum. The best representation is from eastern North America, especially the Great Lakes area, but the collection has significant material from Europe, Japan, Central America, northern South America, and the West Indies. The holdings in Mexican mosses are especially rich. The bryophyte herbarium has the first set of duplicates from the William Mitten herbarium, including many types and other rarities cited in Mitten's all-important Musci Austro-Americani. The specimens of H. H. Bartlett's Sphagnum herbarium were identified by C. Warnstorf and cited in his monumental Sphagnologia universalis, many of them as types. In 1985 our holdings in bryophytes of the Great lakes region were further strengthened by a gift of 8000 specimens from I. Schnooberger.

Fungi (280,000 Specimens) - type database

  • T. James, Curator
  • A. Harrington, Collection Manager

The fungal herbarium is extraordinarily strong in North American higher fungi, with, among others, the collections of A. H. Smith (agarics, boletes, and gastromycetes), C. H. Kauffman (agarics), D. Baxter (polypores), R. L. Shaffer (agarics), and R. Fogel (hypogeous fungi). Material on which the taxonomic studies of E. B. Mains, on the Uredinales, insecticolous fungi, and Geoglossaceae, and of B. Kanouse, on discomycetes are largely based is in the collection, as are many of L. E. Wehmeyer's pyrenomycetous fungi. The personal herbarium of F. K. Sparrow, which contains mostly specimens of the parasitic genera Physoderma and Urophlyctis as well as a microscope-slide collection of aquatic fungi, is also included. The fungal herbarium is rich in the classical mycological exsiccati sets and contains several historically important, originally private collections such as those of H. A. Kelly and H. C. Beardslee Jr.

Lichens (57,000 Specimens) - type database

  • A. Harrington , Collection Manager

The prime importance of the lichen collection derives from the fact that it includes the herbarium of Bruce Fink, upon which his Lichen Flora of the United States is largely based. Many of Fink's specimens were compared with type material in European herbaria by the leading lichenologist of the time, Alexander Zahlbruckner. The lichen herbarium has a good representation from most parts of the United States and southern Canada and also from Puerto Rico and British Honduras. Michigan is well covered by the collections of J. Lowe, H. Imshaug, C. Wetmore, and R. Harris, and the Rocky Mountains by those of E. B. Mains, A. H. Smith, and H. Imshaug. Exchange has resulted in an abundance of European specimens, making the herbarium a good research and reference resource. About 10,000 specimens in the lichen collection have been studies by thin-layer chromatography, with the data obtained recorded on their packets.

Vascular Plants (1,100,000 Specimens) - type database

  • C.W. Dick, Curator
  • S. Smith, Associate Curator
  • Y. Qiu, Associate Curator
  • T. Vasconcelos, Assistant Curator
  • B. Ruhfel, Research Collection Manager
  • A. Baumgartner, Collection Manager    

In pteridophytes, the Copeland herbarium gives the collection great strength from eastern Asia and the southwestern Pacific region; indeed, we probably have the western hemisphere's best collection of ferns from southeastern Asia. Hawaii is exceptionally well represented, and coverage of continental United States is excellent, partly due to the acquisition of the American Fern Society herbarium; the North American collections of W. H. Wagner are another strength of the collection. For vascular in general, the collection from Michigan and the Great Lakes area is outstanding. Large additions have been the personal herbarium of C. K. Dodge, of Port Huron, Michigan (40,000 specimens), and the herbarium of Parke, Davis & Company (50,000 sheets), and we have the collections of E. G. Voss. A. A. Reznicek, and many others. The collection of Mexican vascular plants is one of the largest in the world outside of Mexico itself, thanks mainly to the efforts of C. L. Lundell, R. McVaugh, W. R. Anderson, and their students. The accumulations of H. H. Bartlett are particularly rich in specimens from southeastern Asia and the southwestern Pacific region, and have been supplemented by collections of W. Koelz and R. Chand. Neotropical Myrtaceae and Malpighiaceae are well represented, due to the studies of R. McVaugh, W. R. Anderson, and their associates, and the acquisitions of F. J. Hermann's collection of Cyperaceae gives the Herbarium important holdings in that family, which are being actively increased by A. A. Reznicek.