Visiting the Herbaria

The Herbaria are on the campus of the University of California in Berkeley. Hours are 8:00 to 5:00, Monday through Friday. The doors are locked during the lunch hour (12:00 to 1:00.).

Digital Access to Herbaria Resources
You may be able to get the information you need through the UC/JEPS Specimen Portal, powered by CollectionSpace, or our type specimen images and catalogues.


The University and Jepson Herbaria are located on the ground floor of the central atrium of the Valley Life Sciences Building. The entrance is prominently marked, flanked by planters, and directly in front of a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. The Valley Life Sciences Building is a large building easily identified by its "neo-Babylonian" bas relief, located east of the prominent eucalyptus grove that is near the West Gate entry kiosk at the east end of University Avenue.

By car: From Interstate 80/580 in Berkeley, take the University Avenue exit and drive east (away from the Bay). University Avenue ends at the University of California campus. Parking is at a premium in Berkeley during business hours; the following options are available to visitors (see also campus website):

  • Metered street parking adjacent to campus (20 minutes per quarter; 2 hour limit).
  • City and commercial parking lots and structures (see map and look up "parking" in the map index).
  • Parking in residential area north of campus (2 hour limit, Monday - Friday).
  • Central campus parking
  • Student Union Garage at Bancroft & Telegraph
By BART: The University and Jepson Herbaria are within a few blocks of the downtown Berkeley BART station. Follow Central Avenue to the east (the main flow of students) to campus, and then continue east on the walkway that crosses the bridge and goes through a wooded area. This will take you to the south side of the Valley Life Sciences Building.

A campus map is available online, as well as directions to campus by transit and directions to campus by car.

Public and Visitor Parking Information

If you want to use the collection, and you have not received a formal orientation from us previously, we strongly suggest that you make an appointment ahead of time to ensure that an appropriate staff member will be available to orient you. You will not be allowed to use the collection without an orientation. If you have specimens that you want to use in the Herbaria, consider mailing them ahead of time so that they may be frozen to kill pests. Please call 510-642-2465 or email the collections staff for an appointment.


  • When arriving at the Herbaria please check in at the front desk.
  • Please sign the Visitor Logbook. (Note that there are two pages that need to be filled out.)
  • In order to prevent accidental introduction of pests all specimens brought into the herbaria must go through the appropriate pest control treatment.
  • Each visitor must undergo authorized orientation for use of the herbaria.
  • There is no food or drink allowed inside the collections area.
  • Do not remove anything (ie. specimens, books, equipment) from the herbaria without consent of the collections manager.
  • Information for photocopying, phone use, etc. can be provided at the front desk.
  • The building must be evacuated if the fire alarm sounds.


  • The non-circulating herbarium library is open only to in-house staff, students working under the sponsorship of the herbaria, and visiting researchers.
  • New visiting researchers need to make an appointment with Amy Kasameyer at (510) 642-2465 or email her at

  • Keep folders horizontal when removing from the cases.
  • Keep herbarium sheets specimen-side-up. Do not turn them over like pages in a book.
  • Please refile specimens correctly; misfiled specimens are effectively lost.

  • Please pull specimens you would like to request on loan, and let the collections management staff know that you have done so.
  • When you return home, please have a formal letter of request for the loan sent. The loan will then be packaged and shipped to you.


A representation of herbarium materials can be seen in the Hall of Life, Valley Life Sciences Building. The herbaria are open for use by legitimate researchers and will respond to public service queries from 8 am to noon and 1 to 5 pm Monday through Friday. The herbaria also provide a limited number of tours to professional or academic groups on request. Please contact collections staff at 510-642-2465 or by email for an appointment.