With over 3 million herbarium specimens, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) receives many requests from scientists and researchers around the world for material to be removed from the specimens for research purposes. These samples can be used in studies including anatomy, morphology, palynology, photochemistry, DNA sequencing and pollen analysis.
RBGE where possible, will approve these requests, but with our finite resources we cannot satisfy all requests and priority will be given to requests where the researcher concerned is actively collaborating with a staff member at RBGE and the research will lead to a joint publication.
Procedure for Requests
- RBGE Herbarium will only consider destructive sampling requests from recognised Institutes. Requesters must submit a Destructive Sampling Form, which can be downloaded from the section 'Useful Documents' on this page.
- All requests for removal of samples should include the completed forms, and be addressed to the Herbarium Curator.
- Requests should specify the type of material required and the nature of the research.
- Approval for destructive sampling from RBGE herbarium specimens will be done on a case-by-case basis. The number of samples per request will be limited.
- Evidence must be produced that DNA extraction has been successful from herbarium sheets in the group concerned, usually the genus.
- Nagoya Protocol Compliance: From 12th October 2014 plant material requested from RBGE may be subject to Prior Informed Consent from the country of origin. Any permissions and conditions of use will be advised before release and if there are any restrictions it will not be made available.
- If permission is granted the material requested will be removed by staff of the RBGE. Details of the sampling will be recorded onto the RBGE Herbarium database and the Herbarium specimens annotated. This will include the type of material removed, reference number, date of removal, name and Institution of the person who requested the material.
- The taxon, collector’s name, collection number and barcode (if known) must be referred to when requesting and citing the voucher specimen.
- The herbarium specimen may be requested on loan for consultation. This should be requested separately from the Loans Officer.
Other Ways to access the collection:
Contact the Herbarium
If you have any queries relating to the Herbarium, please get in touch using the formGet in touch