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The Claude E. Phillips Herbarium

To promote and share knowledge about plants through documentation, research and education for the well-being of people and their environment.

The Claude E. Phillips Herbarium in Dover, Delaware was founded in 1977 by Norman H. Dill and Arthur O. Tucker. Starting with only two cabinets of plant specimens, the herbarium is now the largest one at an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and the only public one on the Delmarva Peninsula. Through continuous enrichment efforts, it has become a center for documentation, research and education within the region. It is indexed as DOV and ranks 87 out of 535 herbaria in the U.S. in terms of holdings.

The Claude E. Phillips Herbarium seeks to continue and develop its services towards the scientific and lay communities through its core activities (documentation, research, and education), and to inspire a better understanding of the importance of plants in maintaining a good quality of life and environment.

DOV is a cooperative herbarium, under signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), with the following and provides the scientific basis for their statements and publications on plants:
Adkins Arboretum
Delaware Center for Horticulture
Delaware Department of Agriculture
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Delaware Native Plant Society
Delaware Nature Society
Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association
Longwood Gardens
Maryland University of Integrated Health
Mt. Cuba Center for the Study of Piedmont Flora
Natural Resources Conservation Service of the USDA
University of Delaware
Wesley College

Formal and informal links also exist with The Herb Society of America and Winterthur Museum.

These attributes make the Claude E. Phillips Herbarium unique:
The only herbarium in the world that cooperates with several federal, state, and private institutions through signed MoU.
The only public herbarium on the Delmarva Peninsula.
The largest herbarium at an HBCU.
Other relevant facts about the Herbarium are as follows:
With about 150,000 plant specimens, it ranks 87 out of 535 herbaria in the U.S.
Documents plants dating back to 1799.
Has a comprehensive, worldwide representation of plant families, including algae, mosses, liverworts, vascular plants, as well as lichens, fungi and fossils.
Houses a collection of over 2,500 books and numerous issues of 73 different periodicals. The oldest book was published in 1737 and the periodicals date back to the 19th century.
Houses auxiliary collections of: (1) dried botanicals, (2) fruits/cones/seeds, (3) botanical jewelry, (4) fibrarium (fibers), (5) xylarium (woods), (6) corticarium (barks) and (7) potpourri ingredients.
Houses collections of photographic slides (35 mm) on the flora of North America.

GOAL 1: Increase the visibility of the Claude E. Phillips Herbarium
Create a searchable online database of DOV collections
Digitize type specimens
Strengthen the graduate program in Plant Systematics and support undergraduate botany courses
Promote local, regional, national and international collaborations
Provide and participate in outreach activities

GOAL 2: Reinforce the utility of the Claude E. Phillips Herbarium
Provide capacity building at various levels
Provide free services to all cooperating agencies and non-profit groups on Delmarva
Encourage the use of the resources at the Herbarium for documentation, research, and education

GOAL 3: Ensure the growth and stability of the Claude E. Phillips Herbarium
Increase the number of permanent staff
Seek funds to support further development of documentation, research, and education
Expand herbarium and library holdings
Assess and/or renew existing equipment for research goals
Strengthen and/or establish collaboration with cooperative agencies