The Fungus Collection at the New York State Museum originated from the first New York State Botanist, Charles Horton Peck (1868–1913) who amassed 33,600 mycological specimens. In the years following, the next State Botanist, Homer House, and other mycologists added to this number. Currently, the collection contains more than 90,000 specimens. However, the importance of the collection is not in the number of specimens it contains, but in the over 2,000 type specimens collected during the early years of American mycology. It is especially rich in Agarics and other larger fungi. Some of the other collectors represented in the herbarium are G. F. Atkinson, M. E. Banning, E. Bartholomew, M. J. Berkeley, E. A. Burt, G. W. Clinton, M. C. Cooke, M. A. Curtis, J. Dearness, J. B. Ellis, W. R. Gerard, E. C. Howe, J. H. Haines, H. W. Harkness, E. W. D. Holway, C. H. Kauffman, W. A. Murrill, P. A. Saccardo, S. J. Smith, and C. J. Sprague.
In addition to specimens, the Museum holds numerous original drawings and paintings of fungi by Charles H. Peck, Mary Banning, and others, as well as an extensive file of correspondence covering the formative years of American mycology.
For information about requesting Specimen Loans, please see the Loan Policy.