physical loans

Due to the size of the collection and the logistical effort of sending specimens on loan, we recommend a personal visit in the herbarium. Visitors are welcome at any time after registration (the only exceptions are a few days before and after the fumigations) and have access to all specimens.

If a visit to the collections is not possible, herbarium specimens can of course be sent on loan. We appreciate your understanding, that historically valuable or old (collected before 1850) specimens, such as the collections of Jacquin, are sent on loan only in exceptional cases.

The orchid collection of Reichenbach and the Juncaceae collection of Buchenau are NOT sent on loan without exception.

Loans are granted only to institutions listed in the Index Herbariorum. We cannot grant any loans to individuals. Due to the massive lack of staff in the herbarium the current waiting time is about 6 months.

A loan request shall include all desired taxa in alphabetical order (by genus, within the genus sorted by species), as well as all synonyms of the requested name. Please attach a signed copy of our loan agreement and send it to

Natural History Museum
Department of Botany
Burgring 7
1010 Vienna

Alternatively, you can send us an e -mail.

Our collections are listed alphabetically, not grouped geographically. You should consider this when a requesting a specimen - due to the size of the collections, requests that only refer to a geographical area cannot be processed.

The specimens must be treated with extreme caution. We often receive material back partially or totally destroyed. The restoration often takes a long time, which increases the waiting time for future loans unnecessarily.

requests via our virtual herbarium

A faster way to work with our collections is the Virtual Herbarium. Currently, there are about 15,000 of our type specimens online. If you do not find the desired specimen online, it is possible to request a digital image. The required specimens are scanned in high resolution and are usually available within a few days. Please note that at the moment we only digitise our type collection.

An image request should include not only the name of the taxon but should also have the following information:
- complete synonymy of the name
- full specimen information (collector, collector number, location etc )
- full citation

We appreciate your understanding that we will handle requests with incomplete information back ranked due to the many requests and the personnel situation.

For a digital image request, please contact us via e-mail.
Acantholimon chlorostegium Rech. f. & Schiman-Czeika