News from Yale University Herbarium (YU)

Nico Cellinese nico.cellinese at YALE.EDU
Thu Jan 30 11:38:06 CST 2003

The Botany Division of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, which includes
the Yale University Herbarium (YU) was recently relocated on the third floor
of the new Class of 1954 Environmental Science Center (ESC).  This
state-of-the-art facility, with new compactorized cabinetry, provides an
optimum controlled environment for the conservation of specimens.  The YU
Herbarium was founded in 1864 by Daniel Cady Eaton, and is the repository of
many important historical collections.  Eaton himself was primarily
interested in ferns, which is reflected in the number of North American fern
holdings (ca. 15,000).  Alexander W. Evans, Eaton’s student and successor,
was an avid field botanist and prolific scientist interested in mosses,
liverworts, and later lichens.  YU holds an estimated 35,000 bryophyte
specimens, including many types.  Overall, the YU collection contains about
350,000 specimens from throughout the world, although emphasis is on North
America and New England.  Among vascular plants, grasses represent an
additional area of strength owing to the work of John Reeder from 1947 to
1968.  James Rodman served as Curator from 1973 to 1983, after which Leo
Hickey oversaw both the Botany and Paleobotany collections.  In 2000 Michael
Donoghue joined the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale
and was appointed Curator of the Division of Botany, and since January 2003
he serves as Director of the Peabody Museum.  In August 2002 Nico Cellinese,
formerly at The Field Museum, was hired as the first Collections Manager of
the Herbarium.  She carried out the relocation of the collections, and
reorganized the arrangement of specimens to reflect current knowledge of
plant phylogeny.  In addition, after 55 years of separation, the collections
of the Connecticut Botanical Society (CBS), comprising approximately 35,000
specimens, have been merged with the YU collections, although mantained in
separate folders.  Plans to digitize and database all collections are
underway.  For more information about the collections, loans, and visits
contact Nico Cellinese (Tel.: 203-432-3537; Fax: 203-432-7907;
nico.cellinese at, or visit the website at  The address for
correspondence is: Yale University Herbarium, Botany Division, Peabody
Museum of Natural History, Yale University, 170 Whitney Avenue, P.O. Box
208118, New Haven CT 06520-8118, U.S.A.

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