World-wide Specimens

Stuart G. Poss sgposs at WHALE.ST.USM.EDU
Tue Mar 31 17:34:08 CST 1998

I can't speak for herbaria or for all world collections, however, in a
survey of fish collections (Poss, S. G. and B. B. Collette.  1995.
Second Survey of Fish Collections in the United States and Canada.
Copeia, 1995(1):48-70.) we estimated that Canadian and US collections
contained bout 63.7 million specimens in about 3.8 million lots, within
the 118 collections reponding to the survey.  You will have to forgive
us gringos for leaving Mexico out of the survey, a situation we would
very much like to correct.

You may want to address this question to the Association of Systematics
Collections and the National Science Foundation Programs for Research
Infrastructure Support.  They likely have access to other survey efforts
done at various times that few others will have readily available.

I and probably many others, would be interested to learn of other
similar surveys for other collections in other parts of the world.
Specific information would be much appreciated.  The more detailed the
better.  Such information is critical, since they continue to grow
faster than needed personnel are added for their maintenance.

Patricia Koleff wrote:
> We are interested in knowing the total number of specimens holded on
> herbaria and museums of the world.
> Any idea of the total number and the current rate of specimens incorporation?
> We will appreciate any information about that or any reference or contact
> to find it
> You can answer us directly and we will summarize the information for those
> interested
> Thanks in advance
> Patricia Koleff and Pilar Rodriguez

Stuart G. Poss                       E-mail: sgposs at
Senior Research Scientist & Curator  Tel: (228)872-4238
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory       FAX: (228)872-4204
P.O. Box 7000                        703 East Beach Blvd.
Ocean Springs, MS  39566-7000

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