The specimens are arranged by plant family. They are divided into Portfolios, then Folders, then each sheet of specimens is assigned a specimen number, and is located in a numbered box.
This collection includes plant specimens collected by Henry David Thoreau starting in 1850. In addition to the main collection of plant specimens, there is also a bound volume which is titled Catalogue of the Herbarium of Henry D. Thoreau, beqeathed to Boston Soc. of Nat. Hist., which consists of a hand-written listing of the specimens included in the herbarium.
Access restricted to qualified researchers by appointment only.
Henry David Thoreau Herbarium. Archives, Gray Herbarium Library, Harvard University Herbaria.
Henry David Thoreau may be best known as a writer, but he was also a botanist who collected hundreds of specimens of New England plants to create his own herbarium. Thoreau's earliest herbarium specimens were collected in 1850. Over the next few years, he read many botanical works and increased his field observations. Thoreau continued to collect for his herbarium over the following years, until his collection grew to about 900 specimens.