Collection Policy

Acquisitions | Loans 

 

 

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Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Herbarium Policy

 

(Revised, 2 October 2013)

 

Mission Statement:

 

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) is devoted to the collection, cultivation, study and display of native

 

California plants and to graduate training and research in plant systematics and evolution. Through all of its

 

programs, the mission of the Garden is to make significant contributions to the appreciation, enjoyment,

 

conservation, understanding, and thoughtful utilization of our natural heritage.

 

Collection Policy:

 

In accordance with its mission statement, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden will develop, assemble, document and

 

maintain preserved botanical collections (herbarium). The purpose of this document is to guide, direct and manage

 

the development of these collections at the Garden.

 

Legal & Ethical Consideration:

 

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden's collections, collecting policies, procedures, and activities strive to comply with

 

all relevant international, national, state and local laws, and trustee policies and directives regarding these

 

collections and collecting activities (e.g., CITES, ESA, etc.). All collections and collecting activities will comply

 

and be consistent with the Trustee approved Code of Ethics (1998 revision).

 

Purpose:

 

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden's herbarium collections support the Garden's mission and its programs in

 

conservation, education, horticulture and research.

 

Scope of the Collections – Provenance:

 

The RSA herbarium holdings are defined as those specimens belonging to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, and

 

the collections formerly belonging to Pomona College. The herbarium seeks to provide as complete a representation

 

of different vascular plant families and genera as possible. Holdings includes traditional herbarium mounts, fluidpreserved

 

specimens, boxed or bagged cones and fruit, wood, root, and bark samples, and microscopic slides of

 

anatomical and pollen preparations. The geographic coverage of the RSA herbarium is worldwide, however, primary

 

emphasis is given to plants from California, Mexico, western North America, and other world areas of

 

Mediterranean, arid, and semiarid climates.

 

Acquisition Policy:

 

The primary goal of the acquisitions policy is to guide development of the RSA herbarium as a representative world

 

collection of vascular plant taxa by the incorporation of specimens acquired through judicious collecting, exchanges,

 

accepted gifts, incorporation of "orphan" collections, and purchases. To enhance collections development RSA

 

strives to maintain strong temporally consistent holdings.

 

The general policies governing herbarium acquisitions are as follows:

 

A. RSA holdings are defined as those specimens belonging to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSA),

 

which include various orphaned herbaria, and the collections formally donated to the Garden by Pomona

 

College (POM).

 

B. Specimens from throughout the world will be accessioned.

 

C. Specimens in general must be of high quality, and with adequate labels; otherwise substandard material

 

may be accepted at the discretion of the Herbarium Curator or Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

D. An effort will be made to maintain corresponding voucher specimens for all RSABG living collection

 

accessions.

 

E. An effort will be made to avoid exact collection number duplications whenever possible.

 

F. Precise geographic duplication is acceptable within reason, as a thorough geographic coverage documents

 

natural variation.

 

G. Initiation of new exchange agreements with institutions or individuals will be on a selective basis at the

 

discretion of the Herbarium Curator or by delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

H. Donations of specimens to the herbarium (including incorporation of orphaned herbaria) will be accepted,

 

but must meet established specimen quality criteria. Collections by staff are ”Staff Collections,” and not

 

gifts unless collected and prepared entirely on personal time and funds.

 

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I. Unless otherwise stipulated, all gifts become the property of RSA. In all cases, the ultimate disposition of

 

the specimens will be at the discretion of the Herbarium Curator or by delegation, Herbarium Collections

 

Manager. Donors of material should be informed of this policy, and that RSA reserves the right to dispose

 

of any donated specimens at the discretion of the Herbarium Curator or by delegation, Herbarium

 

Collections Manager.

 

J. Collections may be acquired on a fee per specimen basis at the discretion of the Herbarium Curator or by

 

delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager. All financial arrangements surrounding the purchase of

 

specimens should be fully established and documented prior to receiving specimens, and must be in

 

concordance with other established RSABG fiscal policies.

 

K. Collections of voucher specimens documenting experimental and other studies will be accepted at the

 

discretion of the Herbarium Curator or by delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

L. RSA will strive to determine that all specimens accessioned were legally collected and will not knowingly

 

accept illegally collected material, unless deposited by a State or Federal Agency with accompanying

 

documentation authorizing RSA to possess the specimens.

 

Utilization:

 

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden's herbarium collections are to be used to support the Garden's mission and other

 

appropriate conservation, education, horticulture and research activities. Use and utilization of the Garden's

 

herbarium collections will be consistent with the community norms and standards for each type of collection. In

 

general, destructive sampling will be permitted only to an extent that ensures no significant reduction in the overall

 

quality of the accession/specimen will result from such utilization (see destructive sampling policy – appendix 1).

 

Specimens should be handled with the utmost care at all times. Failure to adhere to herbarium policies and

 

regulations may result in revocation of access privileges, at the discretion of the Herbarium Curator or by delegation,

 

Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

Access:

 

The content / catalog of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden herbarium collections should be as widely accessible as

 

possible. The Garden's philosophy is to encourage and facilitate access to, and use of, the herbarium collections to

 

the greatest extent possible. Given the sensitive nature and security issues involved with some of these collections,

 

however, access to the collections and their associated records may be limited at the discretion of the Herbarium

 

Curator or by delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

Documentation, Records & Inventory:

 

As collection documentation adds value to the objects in the collection documentation should be as thorough and

 

accurate as resources allow

 

. All appropriate records will be maintained, and periodic inventories conducted for the

 

herbarium collections. Collection records include (but are not limited to) documentation of provenance, utilization,

 

procedures, quality and origin of accessions, deaccessions, exchanges, gifts, purchases, and loans. The development

 

of a comprehensive, readily accessible catalogue of the herbarium collections, including archival quality digital

 

images, is an institutional goal. The herbarium will stay current with emerging technologies and standards in the

 

field, including standards in digital technologies, as appropriate.

 

Collection Conservation and Stewardship:

 

RSABG’s Living Collection constitutes a significant scientific, horticultural, educational, and conservation resource

 

for a community and region where species and habitat loss are critical issues.

 

The herbarium expects to maintain

 

museum and other professional botanical standards and to hold it’s collections in public trust. Rancho Santa Ana

 

Botanic Garden Herbarium will strive to fully implement and comply with the Trustee approved Long Range

 

Conservation Plan (2002 revision).

 

Quality Standards for Depositing Specimens:

 

The RSABG Herbarium regularly receives donations of specimens that are vouchers for scientific research, have

 

historical significance, or enrich our taxonomic or geographic representation. Donations of specimens are expected

 

to have been collected with the appropriate permission and / or official permits. Donations are only accepted for

 

which ownership can be transferred to the Herbarium.

 

1. Specimens for deposit at the RSABG Herbarium will follow the guidelines as outlined in the Acquisition

 

Policy.

 

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2. Specimens must be of high quality and include reproductive structures (i.e., flowers, fruits, cones, spores).

 

Substandard material, such as sterile material, may be accepted at the discretion of the Herbarium Curator or by

 

delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

3. Specimens acceptable for deposit must be accompanied by adequate labels printed on acid free paper.

 

4. Collection information for each specimen at a minimum will include determination (i.e. identification to

 

species), collector, collection number, collection date, collection locality (political division, locality description,

 

habitat description, geographic coordinates, elevation), and specimen description.

 

5. Plant specimens for deposit into the RSA herbarium must include a “Plant Specimens for Deposit” form.

 

6. Plant specimens mailed to the herbarium for deposit into the RSA herbarium should be packaged with care,

 

such that little to no damage occurs during shipment.

 

Deaccession:

 

In all cases, the ultimate disposition of the specimens will be at the discretion of the Herbarium Curator or by

 

delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

Accessions may be removed from the collections (deaccessioned) under any of the following conditions:

 

a) When they are no longer appropriate to the scope of the herbarium collection.

 

b) When they are damaged beyond reasonable repair.

 

c) When they are missing (lost, stolen, or destroyed).

 

d) When they no longer retain value for their intended purpose.

 

e) When they are unnecessary duplicates.

 

f) When the legal owner requests return of material on indefinite loan.

 

All records and data relating to deaccessioned herbarium material will be maintained in perpetuity. Deaccessioning

 

is the responsibility of Herbarium Curator or by delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

Deaccessioned material may be disposed of in the following ways:

 

a) Deaccessioned material may be exchanged with an individual, corporation, nonprofit or government entity.

 

b) Deaccessioned material may be sold. Proceeds from the sale of deaccessioned material and/or collection assets

 

will be used to provide for the direct care and augmentation of the affected collection.

 

c) Deaccessioned material may be given to an individual, corporation, nonprofit or government entity.

 

d) As a last resort, as in the case of irreparably damaged specimens, deaccessioned herbarium material may be

 

physically discarded.

 

Decisions relating to the disposal of deaccessioned material(s) with a commercial value of up to one hundred dollars

 

are the responsibility of the Herbarium Curator or by delegation the Herbarium Collections Manager. Disposal of

 

deaccessioned material(s) with a commercial value in excess of one hundred dollars will be made with the

 

consultation and documented approval of the Garden's Executive Director, or Board of Trustees.

 

Loans:

 

Loans are the formal, temporary transfer of specimens to outside researchers or institutions. Specimens from the

 

RSA herbarium are available for use on loan to researchers at outside institutions. Similarly, the RSA herbarium is

 

responsible for managing loans from outside institutions, which have been sent for use by Garden staff, students,

 

and research associates.

 

The general policies governing loans of RSA herbarium specimens to other institutions are as follows:

 

 

Loans are made to institutions, not individuals; therefore, the Herbarium Curator and/or Herbarium Collections

 

Manager must submit all loan requests.

 

 

Institutions receiving loans must be able to ensure their storage.

 

 

Facilities are sufficient to provide RSA specimens an appropriate level of care and protection.

 

 

A loan of specimens will be authorized only after receiving a formal request for the material from the director,

 

curator, or collections manager of the herbarium to which the loan will be sent.

 

 

Loans of RSA specimens are made for one year, unless otherwise authorized by the Herbarium Curator or by

 

delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

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Extensions of loan periods may be granted at the discretion of the Herbarium Curator or by delegation,

 

Herbarium Collections Manager following receipt of formal request from the director, curator, or collections

 

manager of the herbarium to which the loan was be sent.

 

 

Specimens sent on loan may be recalled at any time by the Herbarium Curator or by delegation, Herbarium

 

Collections Manager.

 

 

Accessions of any given taxon will not be sent out on loan in its entirety. Loans made to receiving institutions

 

will include a portion of a requested taxon/taxa. RSA will retain approximately 25% of its holdings of a given

 

taxon/taxa. The remaining portion may be sent out on loan to the institution following the return of the initial

 

portion of the loan. In cases where RSA may only have a few specimens of a given taxon, decisions to send

 

such specimens on loan in its entirety or a portion of this are at the discretion of the Herbarium Curator, or by

 

delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

 

For taxa or specimens of extreme rarity, decisions to send such specimens on loan are at the discretion of the

 

Herbarium Curator, or by delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager. In such cases, a high-resolution scanned

 

image of the specimen(s) may be sent as a virtual loan. The rarest of circumstances may warrant exception.

 

 

Institutional need for RSA herbarium specimens supersedes any and all requests for loans to outside institutions.

 

 

Loans may be transferred to another institution at the discretion of the Herbarium Curator or by delegation,

 

Herbarium Collections Manager, pending receipt of formal request from both the original and new borrowing

 

institutions.

 

The general policies governing loans of herbarium specimens sent to RSA from other institutions are as follows:

 

 

Loans are made to institutions, not individuals; therefore requests for loans must be submitted by the Herbarium

 

Curator or by delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

 

Specimens received on loan must be housed according to the basic standards for all RSA herbarium specimens.

 

 

Loans must be returned promptly upon the expiration of the lending institutions stated loan period, or upon

 

receipt of request for immediate return of the loan.

 

 

All specimens received on loan will be properly annotated prior to return.

 

Exchanges:

 

Exchanges are the formal reciprocal transfer of specimen(s), or other collection material(s) between Rancho Santa

 

Ana Botanic Garden and other institutions or individuals. Formal exchange programs are designed to build and

 

augment institutional holdings. Decisions to initiate or curtail exchange agreements are at the discretion of the

 

Herbarium Curator or by delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

Gifts:

 

Gifts are the unconditional, unilateral transfer of ownership of specimen(s), or other collection material(s) between

 

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and other institutions or individuals. Gifts are typically given with the intent of

 

augmenting the holdings of outside institutions, or supporting research and activities consistent with the mission of

 

the Garden. Gifts to the herbarium collections at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden are typically accepted with the

 

expressed intent of augmenting the Garden’s existing collections in a manner consistent with the herbarium's

 

collection policy.

 

Unless otherwise stipulated, all gifts become the property of RSA. In all cases, the ultimate disposition of the

 

specimens will be at the discretion of the Herbarium Curator or by delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager.

 

Donors of material should be informed of this policy, and that RSA reserves the right to dispose of any donated

 

specimens at the discretion of the Herbarium Curator or by delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager. Collections

 

made by staff and graduate students are “Staff Collections”, and not gifts unless collected and prepared on personal

 

time with nothing but private funds. Gifts may be claimed as tax-exempt donations. The herbarium will give gift

 

receipts upon request, but it is strictly prohibited from specifying the value of herbarium specimens

 

; this is left to the

 

donor’s discretion.

 

Risk Management and Disaster Planning:

 

The herbarium will adhere to the institutional Risk Management and Disaster Plan. Collections, staff and visitors are

 

to be protected to the best of the Garden’s ability in the event of an emergency or disaster in accordance with the

 

Disaster Preparedness Policy.

 

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Policy Review / Revision:

 

The Herbarium Curator or by delegation, Herbarium Collections Manager shall review the Herbarium Collection

 

Policy not less than once every five years. The Herbarium Collection Policy must maintain consistency with the

 

Garden’s collection policy. Any revisions to the Living Collection Policy shall be presented to and approved by the

 

Collections Committee. If no revisions are deemed necessary the policy shall be noted as reviewed and dated.

 

APPENDICES:

 

I. Destructive sampling policy

 

II. Integrated Pest Management policy

 

III. Definition of Terms/Glossary.

 

Note: Appendices not included in supplemental docs due to space limitations.