Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: far00057

Farlow Reference Library and Herbarium: Indices, Exsiccatae, and Field note collection

Scope and Content

This collection contains indices, checklists, exsiccatae, accession lists, and some field notes related to the Farlow Herbarium specimen collections. Some general administrative information on the Farlow Herbarium is also included.


  • 1875-1998


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research by appointment. Researchers must register and provide one form of valid photo identification. Please contact for additional information.


3.55 linear feet (8 document boxes, 1 half-width document box)

Historical note: Farlow Reference Library and Herbarium

The personal herbarium and library of William Gilson Farlow (1844-1919), mycologist and phycologist and first Professor of Cryptogamic Botany in North America, bequeathed to Harvard in 1919, form the nucleus of the Farlow Reference Library and Herbarium. Further bequests from Roland Thaxter (1858-1932), as well as specimens, manuscripts, correspondence, illustrations and field notes from other researchers, including E. B. Bartram, E. A. Burt, W. H. Weston Jr., D. H. Linder, and E. Mackenzie (formerly I.M. Lamb), have further enhanced the collections.

The Farlow Herbarium houses approximately 1,400,000 specimens, including approximately 75,000 types, of lichenized and non-lichenized fungi, bryophytes, diatoms and algae. The collections are worldwide in scope, with particular strengths in bryophytes and fungi from Asia, Antarctic lichens, entomogenous fungi, and herbaria containing type specimens and bound, indexed exsiccatae of special authors. Among the most important collections are those of: E. Bartram (Mosses), E. A. Burt (Fungi), C. A. Cheever (Diatoms), M. A. Curtis (Fungi), C. W. Dodge (Lichens), W. G. Farlow (Fungi), M. Fleischer (Mosses), N. Patouillard (Fungi), V. Schiffner (Mosses and Hepatics), W. S. Sullivant (Mosses and Hepatics), T. Taylor (Mosses, Hepatics, Fungi and Lichens), R. Thaxter (Fungi, Laboulbeniales) and E. Tuckerman (Lichens). The diatom collection of about 30,000 microscope slides and field samples documents the work of the international community of diatomists during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially of the period from 1830 to about 1940.


This collection is organized in three series.

Series I: General Information, 1927-1993, bulk circa 1970-1987.

This series contains diatom and bryophyte checklists, exsiccatae notes, endowment information, biographies, holdings and general information on the Farlow Herbarium, publication and distribution lists.

Series II: Herbaria, Collections and Specimens, 1875-1998.

This series contains notes, correspondence, exsiccatae and indexes of specific herbariums. The information is arranged alphabetically by herbarium.

Series III: Field notes, circa 1925-1935.


Materials were transferred from the Farlow Herbarium to the Farlow Library Archives over time. In some cases, original indices and field notes were added to this collection, while photocopies of those originals were kept in the Herbarium and/or added to the general library collection. Some of those individual titles also have separate catalog records.

Processing Information

June 2022, Danielle Castronovo updated the finding aid, including linking digital content and individual catalog records.

Farlow Reference Library and Herbarium: Indices, Exsiccatae, and Field note collection, 1875-1998: A Guide.
Botany Libraries, Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany, Harvard University.
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Botany Libraries, Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany, Harvard University Repository

The Harvard University Herbaria houses five research libraries that are managed collectively as the Botany Libraries. The Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany specializes in organisms that reproduce by spores, without flowers or seeds. The Archives of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany houses unique resources including personal papers, institutional records, field notes and plant lists, expedition records, photographs, original artwork, and objects from faculty, curators, staff, and affiliates of the Farlow Herbarium.

Harvard University Herbaria
22 Divinity Ave
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2366