Visitor Policy


01/04/2021: Appointments are required to use the Herbaria; please email to make arrangements. For the Botany Libraries, see our hours and policies, or email for assistance.

Please refer to Harvard's dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) website for campus updates & FAQs:

The Herbaria are open to all qualified researchers for scientific study and consultation.

  • Researchers are requested to make arrangements with the Director of Collections or Curatorial Assistant prior to visiting, and to register in the lobby upon arrival.
  • Visiting hours are limited to Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm, excluding University holidays when we are fully closed.
  • To prevent the introduction of insect pests, no dried plant material may be brought into the herbarium building without prior fumigation. Individuals wishing to bring material for comparison should make arrangements for fumigating well in advance of  visiting.
  • A member of the curatorial staff will provide an introduction to the collections and arrange for work space and dissecting microscopes.
  • Material such as pollen, leaves and wood must not be removed from herbarium specimens without prior written consent; authorization forms for destructive sampling may be downloaded prior to arrival or obtained from a member of the curatorial staff. Specimens from which material is removed must be annotated appropriately.
  • Dissections or loose plant fragments should be put into packets attached to the sheets. Additional packets are available from staff members.
  • Annotations should be written legibly in permanent blue or black ink on annotation labels. Labels and pens are available from staff members. Whenever possible, the annotation should include the generic name, specific epithet and author, the annotator's name (not initials only), and date. For type specimens, the basionym and place of publication should also be indicated. Annotation labels should be attached so as not cover any printing, writing or material on the sheet. When necessary, the label may be attached by one end only.
  • All annotated sheets should be left for herbaria staff to process and reinsert.
  • Specimens desired on loan should be separated from other material and clearly marked with the name and address or the borrower, then brought to the attention of a member of the herbarium staff.
  • Specimens should be cited according to the herbarium indicated on the sheet. The standard acronyms for the Harvard University Herbaria are: Herbarium of the Arnold Arboretum (A), Orchid Herbarium of Oakes Ames (AMES), Economic Herbarium of Oakes Ames (ECON), Farlow Herbarium (FH), Gray Herbarium (GH), New England Botanical Club (NEBC).