tree-logo.gif (7741 bytes) Plant Taxonomy (BIOL308)  -  Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;

Do's and Don'ts for Handling Herbarium Specimens

  • pick up the specimen with two hands, one hand holding an edge and the other under the specimen to provide support.
  • place the specimen on a table or work surface for study
  • lift up a stack of specimens and set it elsewhere to get to a specimen in the middle of the stack
  • place specimens on a sheet of cardboard or other solid surface when transporting them
  • handle specimens one at a time
  • place specimens face up in a pile


  • turn the specimens in a folder like pages in a book.
  • hold a specimen with one hand while trying to examine parts.
  • place books or other materials on top of specimens
  • squeeze a folder
  • slide specimens into or out of folders
  • turn specimens upside down or bend, twist, fold, spindle or mutilate
  • carry specimens or folders on edge � always hold specimens flat (horizontal) with the specimen side up.

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Last updated:  08/20/2007 / � Copyright by SG Saupe