Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Washington, D.C. » National Arboretum » Floral and Nursery Plants Research » Research » Research Project #443742

Research Project: Curation, Modernization, and Information Management of the U.S. National Arboretum Herbarium Collections

Location: Floral and Nursery Plants Research

Project Number: 8020-21000-081-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 20, 2023
End Date: Mar 19, 2028

Objective 1: Maintain, curate, and enhance the National Arboretum Herbaria as premier scientific collections documenting important agricultural research, genetic resources, and as critical reference tools for protecting American agricultural biosecurity. Sub-objective 1.A: Actively manage the Herbaria in line with modern best practices and grow the collections through expanded vouchering efforts, strategic partnerships, and new acquisitions and exchanges. Sub-objective 1.B: Continue digitizing the Herbaria and related assets and increase efforts to make these resources widely available to researchers, stakeholders, and the public. Sub-objective 1.C: Modernize the taxonomic arrangement of the Herbaria collections to reflect contemporary systematic classifications. Objective 2: Provide accurate taxonomic identification and nomenclature for plant research material and genetic resources, and ensure that information is communicated to USDA/ARS researchers, stakeholders, other federal agencies, and the public.

Work will focus on the management and curation of the National Arboretum Herbarium collections as critical scientific resources. We will develop and codify collections management policies for the collections, and expansion of the herbaria will be accomplished through increased collecting efforts and collaborations that will ensure sustained growth, both physically and digitally. Continued digitization of the herbaria’s holdings will involve imaging, data capture (transcription) of specimen metadata, and publishing to our collections management system/portal. The arrangement of the herbarium collections will also be updated and physically rearranged to reflect modern taxonomic classifications. Additionally, we will provide plant identification services, supplying plant material for researchers’ use, producing scientific presentations, and leading tours and outreach opportunities.