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    Herbaria Policies

Welcome to the University and Jepson Herbaria! As a graduate student, post-doc, or visiting researcher, you are probably already familiar with general herbarium procedures. Nevertheless, because each herbarium tends to have unique aspects, we ask that you please schedule an orientation session with the appropriate curatorial staff before you begin using the herbaria. This will familiarize you with the herbarium lay-out and alert you to any UC/JEPS-specific policies for handling specimens. In addition, please note the following:

No dried plant material is allowed into the herbaria until it has been treated to destroy potential pests (e.g., herbarium beetles). Specimens removed from the herbarium premises (which include contiguous offices) are likewise treated upon return. Because we no longer depend on chemical controls (PDB), it is absolutely essential that this step be taken to prevent the entry of pests. [Exceptions for some plant groups.]

The primary treatment is freezing for several days. Specimens to be frozen can be left in the herbarium cabinet in the quarantine/field room (1001EA). After freezing, specimens can be retrieved from the routing ("F") cabinet (see below); expect about a week's turn-around time.

— Unless arranged otherwise, all incoming shipments of dried plants are frozen and processed by collections management staff prior to being routed to designated recipient. Please do not take incoming shipments of dried plants from the mailing area, even if they are addressed to you, until they have been frozen and processed. Notify collections management staff if you are expecting a shipment that should NOT be frozen or that otherwise requires special processing.

— Also as a vital component of infestation prevention, specimens are kept in cabinets when not in use. Any specimens left out overnight are frozen before being refiled (give to Collections Management staff). See Collections Manager for herbarium cabinet availability beyond what might be in your assigned space.

— If specimens are removed from the main collection to be kept with study material from other sources, leave a tag behind indicating where the specimens are located.

— The 'F" or routing case is used as a holding case when specimens are being routed to someone (e.g., after freezing), so that specimens need not be left sitting out if the person is not available. The person is notified by a card left in his/her mailbox. When retrieving specimens, please remember to return the card to the pocket inside the door of the routing case. Please do not leave specimens sitting in the routing case for extended periods of time.

Materials for class use or display is placed in protective plastic covers for protection and logged out as a short-term loan. Frequently used specimens are kept in covers and maintained separately. For further instructions, check with collections management staff.

— A limited number of herbarium plant presses is available to be checked out for a defined period of time (see Collections Manager; avoid last-minute requests). For extended use, you are encouraged to purchase or construct a personal plant press.

Loans from Other Institutions: Material is borrowed from other herbaria as a loan between institutions, not between individuals. Loan request letters are from a designated representative of the institution (e.g., Director of the Herbarium), and the institution accepts responsibility for the proper care and timely return of borrowed specimens. Unless agreed to in advance, all loans are expected to be fully annotated prior to return. Removal of material for destructive sampling (e.g., molecular analysis) also requires prior approval from the lending institution. When you are ready to begin borrowing specimens, check with Collections Manager (or appropriate cryptogamic curator) for further details and instructions.