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[Photo Story] Penn State Herbarium

One of Penn State’s best kept secrets lies in the basement of Whitmore Lab. The Pennsylvania Agricultural College’s Herbarium has been around since 1859 when the former president Evan Pugh became the first curator.

Since then the herbarium has grown exponentially and now holds the third largest amount of samples in Pennsylvania. The current curator of the herbarium, Sarah Chamberlain, invited us down to the lab to check out what they’ve been working on and collecting for more than 150 years.

One of their main jobs down in the lab is restoring samples. Here they use small chunks of metal to hold down the vegetation after applying glue to keep the plants attached to the paper.
The herbarium transfers the original samples to acid free paper, protecting them longer.

Here’s a small sample of the seeds that they are currently logging into their database.

They also have samples of algae collected all over the east coast.

Curator, Sarah Chamberlain, looks through one of hundreds of folders that each contain dozens of samples.

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About the Author

Joe Whitman

Joe is a freshman from Punxsutawney (groundhogs day) studying Finance who enjoys taking shooty pics on the side. Joe likes to think of himself as a real life Ted Mosby and has seen every episode of How I Met Your Mother at least 6 times. Follow him on ig or twitter @itsjoebi for a mixture of deep self reflection and spongebob/HIMYM refrences.


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