Present holdings include over 175,000 vascular plants in the accessionedcollection and several tens of thousands of unprocessed specimens. The Herbarium serves well to document the flora of the state. Out-or-state holdings are also rather extensive and make the collection of general use for systematic studies. The early establishment and importance of the Herbarium and the prominence of its staff attracted important workers and specimens, including numerous types. Important holdings include original or duplicate specimens obtained from M. A. Curtis, L. S. Rose, I. W. Clokey,C. F. Austin, B. D. Gilbert, C. S. Sheldon, E. Brainerd, C. S.Sargent, E. P. Bicknell, and H. M. Denslow.
Special collections have been developed to support particular research programs and to assist in answering queries from outside the Survey. These subunits include collections of fruits and seeds, wood, pollen, and anatomical vouchers. A valuable herbarium resource is the New York State Flora Data File, which includes locality data for allknown specimens of vascular plants and bryophytes collected orobserved in the state. This file, compiled over much of this century, includes not only records of specimens in the Museum's Herbarium but also those in other herbaria and literature reports, especially from early floras.
The Herbarium's curator is Charles J. Sheviak whose research interests include the systematics and floristics of Orchidaceae, and particularly the reproductive (and chromosome) biology of Spiranthes, Platanthera,and Cypripedium. Other Biological Survey botanists who work with the collection include Richard S. Mitchell (flora of New York State, Polygonum) and Norton G. Miller (taxonomyof bryophytes and seed plants, quaternary paleobotany andpaleoecology).