Research & Collections :: Collections at the State Museum :: Biology
The Bryopyte Herbarium includes mosses, liverworts, and hornworts and itserves to document these plant groups as they are represented inthe New York State flora. The total number of specimens is 29,292, and the specimens are stored in 4" x 6" packets, filed vertically in boxes. The collection is organized into thefollowing categories: (1) New York State, (2) North America other than New York, (3) the world other than North America. Data from 30% of the collection has been put in computer storage, and the NYS Bryophyte Database is increased regularly by data associated with new accessions of New York State and other North American collections. While most of the bryophyte collection is from NewYork, also included are significant holdings from other parts of the United States and from other countries. The collection is arranged alphabetically by genus and species and then geographically within the following categories: mosses, liverworts, and hornworts.
The Bryophyte Herbarium has had a long history, and accordingly it houses numerous collections dating from the 1800s. Important historical collections include specimens from Coe Finch Austin, Elizabeth G.Britton, George W. Clinton, Roy Latham, John M. Macoun, and W. H. Wiegmann, as well as the major collections assembled by former curators Charles H. Peck and Stanley J. Smith. Contemporary workers depositing materials in the collection include B. Allen, R. E. Andrus, H. Crum, R. R. Ireland, E. H. Ketchledge, L. Leonardi, N. G. Miller, and W. R. Town. An exciting recent discovery in the Herbarium was a set of mosses and liverwort specimens prepared by Lewis Caleb Beck in about 1830. This collection, a series of books long attributed to Charles H.Peck, appears to be one of the first of its kind in the Americas. It is being studied to determine who contributed to it and the geographic regions it represents.