Destructive Sampling Policy

Destructive sampling, the permanent removal of material from a specimen, including for molecular analysis, SEM studies and chemical analyses requires prior permission from the curatorial staff.  Every effort will be made to accommodate researchers, but the goal of balancing specimen preservation with use has to be considered.  Researchers should first attempt to obtain material from living collections or through field work and to sample from herbarium specimens as a last resort.  Requests to sample from older specimens may require proof of ability to amplify DNA.  Genetic material, its products or resources deriving from it are not transferrable. 

Requests should indicate the samples required, the researcher requiring them, the nature of the study, and an estimate of the amount of material needed.  See additional details of the conditions applying to such requests. Formal requests along with the signed destructive sampling form, should be sent to or by post to the Director, Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

› Destructive Sampling of Herbarium Specimens Policy Statement and Procedure (PDF)