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About "The Vascular Plant Collection at Herbarium Gottingense"



The Collection

The Herbarium Gottingense (GOET) belongs to the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and currently houses about 800,000 specimens including more than 14,000 types, and the largest part of the collection consists of vascular plants. The specimens have been collected in all parts of the world with many specimens from Germany, the West Indies and South America.

The herbarium was founded in 1832, but the oldest collections are much older. Our oldest collection is the "Herbarius Vivus", a set of 1,800 specimens collected by Abraham Wasteau, who was a medical doctor in Leiden (Netherlands). The "Herbarius Vivus" was sold in Leiden in 1716, so that this collection is at least 300 years old.

Additional historical collections include the herbarium of Albrecht von Haller and the "Plantae Malabaricae", which both stem from the 1730’s. The "Plantae Malabaricae" have been collected in the surroundings of Tharangambadi (Tamil Nadu, India) during the Danish Tranquebar Mission. This collection is not associated to Van Rheede tot Drakenstein’s "Hortus Malabaricus", but it is probably among the earliest botanical collections from the area. The "Plantae Malabaricae" have never been revised and are still stored in the original books with leather binding. The only label information consists of the vernacular plant names in Malayalam and their transcriptions into the Latin alphabet.

One of the most important collections is the Georg Forster herbarium, which has been collected during the second voyage of James Cook from 1772 to 1775.

A name that is tightly linked to the Göttingen herbarium is that of August Heinrich Rudolf Grisebach (1814-1879), who was a professor at Göttingen University. Grisebach described numerous taxa and the herbarium grew by more than 100,000 specimens during his time in Göttingen. All important collectors of the Göttingen herbarium are listed in our "Index collectorum principalium herbaria Gottingensis", which is available on our webpage.

Data Project and Service

The type collection and two historical collections (von Haller, Forster) have been digitized with support from "The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation". Digital images are available online from the Global Plants database. After the completion of this project, we moved on with the digitization of other important collections. We are currently digitizing the above-mentioned "Herbarius Vivus" and "Plantae Malabaricae" as well as our collections from Cape Verde and Macaronesia, which have mainly been collected by our former curator Klaus Lewejohann.

We recently transferred our database into the Diversity Workbench (DWB) database framework. The data is curated and expanded by Dr. Maria Elena Reiner-Drehwald and Dr. Marc Appelhans. Technical support is provided by the IT Center of the Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns. DWB archiving and publishing services are established in cooperation with the DFG project German Federation for Biological Data (GFBio).

The Database "The vascular plant collection at Herbarium Gottingense" – if not stated otherwise – its supporting files have been copyrighted © 2016–2023 by the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Department of Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants (with Herbarium).

to GBIF Portal, Dataset GOETvplantscoll
to BPS Local Query Tool, Dataset GOETvplantscoll

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