$ value of herbarium specimens

Barbara Ertter ertter at UCJEPS.HERB.BERKELEY.EDU
Thu Jan 30 11:48:37 CST 1997

When the UC-JEPS herbaria at the University of California at Berkeley were
being moved several years ago, the powers-that-be needed to know the value
of the collection for insurance purposes, in a context where it was to
their benefit to go for a higher rather than lower value.  What our risk
management department settled on, and what we have used subsequently, is to
take the average cost as given in the ASPT report on Cost of Services of
preparing a mounted, expert-identified specimen (meaning sent on loan and
refiled), which came out to $6.50, and augmenting annually by the Consumer
Price Index update.  As of 1993 this meant the cost was up to $13.06 per
specimen. I know I've done the calculations for a more recent year, but
can't put my hands on them at the moment.  Hope this gives a good starting
point, tho.  Worth noting also that it totally leaves out any intrinsic
value the specimen might have, comparable to calculating the cost of
artwork strictly on the basis of supplies and labor.

Barbara Ertter
Collections Manager
University and Jepson Herbaria

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