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Accessions and Loans Policy

All material which has been brought into Ireland and newly acquired by the TCD Herbarium follows strictly the procedures established by International treaties such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on Trade in Endangered species. All material sourced from within Ireland and newly acquired by the TCD Herbarium has, naturally, been collected in conformity with National Legislation.

When founded, the TCD Herbarium had a very wide-ranging acquisitions policy and this resulted in the Herbarium accumulating much material which has subsequently proved of considerable importance. It also resulted in the TCD Herbarium containing at least one representative of nearly every single genus of flowering plant. Nowadays, the Herbarium’s acquisitions are more carefully targeted to more closely reflect the interests of the staff of the Department of Botany.

Taxonomic, floristic and systematic research necessitates the identification and preservation of type specimens when any new species are discovered. The staff of the School of Botany undertake field collecting, especially in Ireland, Thailand, Pitcairn and Henderson Islands and British Guyana. The resulting specimens are lodged in the country of origin and also in the herbarium of TCD.

Equally, researchers studying many other aspects, such as DNA analyses, need to deposit vouchers of the source material they have used for future reference. Researchers working in Trinity College also deposit these voucher specimens in the Herbarium.

The TCD herbarium accepts donations; however only when the accompanying material is usefully documented with collection details.
The herbarium therefore acquires:

  • Type specimens and voucher material from scientific research;
  • Personal donations of properly documented material;
  • Bequests.

These sources yield an annual accession rate of ca. 1,700 specimens per year.

Almost all material in the herbarium is available for short-term loan to designated herbaria following written or emailed application to the Curator. Some material, notably from Harvey's travelling set of algae, is not available for loan.


Last updated 16 July 2009 Natural Sciences (Email).