Bryophyte Storage Methods

From the [HERBARIA] Listserv

Bryophyte packets can be stored flat or upright. If stored flat, they can be organized loose in palm folders. Kim Kersh at UC Berkeley says they borrowed this method from Helsinki by way of Dan Norris. Deb Trock at CAS uses this method also and says they overlap the packets inside the palm folders. Another flat storage scheme involves attaching the packets to mounting sheets and filing them in genus folders. Molly McMullen at DUKE says they attach the specimen packets to mounting sheets using a long-armed stapler. The packet is reinforced with a card so it is securely fastened. Using this method, specimens can be moved without destroying the packet; which is not the case if the packets are glued to the sheet. Advantages of all the flat storage methods include easy accommodation of any sized packet, prevention of damage, use of archival materials and storage in standard herbarium cases. Also, packets mounted on herbarium paper or mounted specimens can be interfiled in all the flat storage systems.

Three people described their upright storage systems. All upright storage systems are easily rearranged. Jim Croft at CANB reports they use standard (but large) index card filing cabinets for roughly A6 size cards, 12 drawers in each unit holding three rows of packets or similar footprint boxes. You can see a photo of the system at
Stephen Timme at KSP stores packets in custom corrugated cardboard boxes, outside measurements 6”x17.5.” They appear to be about 5”high. These are housed in standard herbarium cases, two boxes per cubby. He sent a photo which I can email anyone who would like to see it. This is an economical system and has the advantage of fitting standard herbarium cases. Susan Studlar at WVA uses archival drop-front boxes with metal edges from University Products. These boxes measure 17”x12.25”x5” and fit into a standard herbarium case. She uses the top and bottom separately as open boxes, first using archival tape to close the drop-front bottom. You can see the box at the University Products web site A strip of genus folder serves as a lengthwise separator for the two rows of packets. This system uses archival materials, fits standard herbarium cases, and is economical, especially compared with custom archival boxes.

I am grateful to you all for sharing your storage methods and patiently answering my questions.

Jean Shepard
Collections Manager
Center for Plant Diversity (DAV)
UC Davis
One Shields Ave.
Davis CA 95616
9-12, 1-4 T-F