I have become fascinated by herbaria, collections of dried plant specimens. Like many new loves, this one began rather suddenly. Yes, I had known about them for years and had even been to a symposium on virtual herbaria, but I hardly ever gave them a thought. Then, as described in my January column (Flannery, 2011), while attending the Botany 2010 meeting last August in Providence, Rhode Island, I had a tour of the herbarium at the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, Roger Williams Park. I also went to a couple of sessions on the effort to digitize herbarium collections throughout the United States. These experiences got me thinking about herbaria and reading up on them. When, in October, I had a chance to revisit the herbarium in Providence, I was moonstruck. I really wanted to dig into the...

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