BRIT Botanical Research Institute of Texas - Fort Worth Texas
N 32° 45.371 W 097° 19.653
14S E 656670 N 3625495
Quick Description: The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) is a global institute for the conservation and preservation of botanical heritage through education, research, scientific publications, and collections.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 9/17/2009 8:35:23 AM
Waymark Code: WM785H
From the website:
About the BRIT Herbarium
Over one million plant specimens are housed in the BRIT Herbarium (the combined BRIT-SMU and VDB collections), making this the largest independent herbarium in the southeastern US. The herbarium has strengths in the plants of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, the Gulf Coast, and the southeastern United States. However, these collections are worldwide in scope, and most of the Earth’s plant families are represented here. Two of our current research projects, one in Peru and one in Papua New Guinea, have greatly expanded the scope of our collection of tropical specimens.
The core of BRIT’s herbarium and library is the Lloyd H. Shinners Collection in Systematic Botany, begun at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, in 1944. The Shinners Collection was transferred to BRIT in 1987 and moved to the present Fort Worth location in 1991.
In addition to the core collection from SMU, BRIT is proud to house the collection from the Vanderbilt University Herbarium, which was created and curated by Dr. Robert Kral. The Vanderbilt Herbarium was donated to BRIT in 1997, bringing a valuable addition of many specimens, especially from Alabama and Tennessee.
The Vanderbilt collections retain their identifying acronym VDB, as they are housed separately from the main BRIT collection. Specimens originating from SMU are stamped “HERBARIUM, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas" or simply "SMU” and are still identified under the acronym SMU when cited in publications. New accessions (since 1987) carry the BRIT stamp and should be cited with the BRIT acronym.
Growth of the BRIT Herbarium Collections: A Chronological Account
The following information gives an overview of the history of the BRIT herbarium collections and important collectors:
* Southern Methodist University Herbarium (SMU), 1987
These approximately 450,000 specimens form the nucleus of the Institute and represent the life's work of Drs. Lloyd Shinners and Eula Whitehouse. SMU collections include historically important specimens from early Texas botanists, including Ferdinand Lindheimer. With the SMU collection, BRIT gained one of the best collections of Texas bryophytes, including the vouchers for the The Mosses of Texas (Whitehouse & McAllister 1954).
* Vanderbilt University Herbarium (VDB), 1997
This valuable collection of specimens represents the life's work of Dr. Robert Kral and is one of the foremost collections of vascular plants from the southeast U.S. The Vanderbilt Herbarium contains about 400,000 specimens, including many threatened and endangered species. This collection is housed separately from the BRIT/SMU main collection.
* Southeastern Oklahoma State University Herbarium (DUR), 2000
This collection of about 78,000 specimens from Oklahoma was donated to BRIT by Drs. John and Connie Taylor. Included in this collection are vouchers for An Annotated List of the Ferns, Fern Allies, Gymnosperms, and Flowering Plants of Oklahoma, by the Taylors (1994).
* Houston Public Museum (HPM), 2001
10,000 specimens, collected primarily from the Gulf Coast region by Dr. Alfred Traverse.
* Dartmouth College (HNH), 2002
This collection of 25,000 specimens was originally part of the herbarium at Dartmouth. It contains many historically-important collections from the United States, including Texas.
* Heber W. Youngken Sr. Collection of Medicinal Plants (MCP), 2003
This historical collection consists of about 7,000 medicinal and economically important plants, and was used for teaching by Dr. Youngken at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. This collection was a gift from the American Botanical Council in Austin, Texas, who acquired the collection from the college in 2000.
* Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (FWM), 2006
The personal herbarium of one of Tarrant County's first botanists, Dr. Albert Ruth (1844-1932). These 8,000 specimens are from Texas and other parts of North America; about half of them were collected by Ruth himself.
* University of Texas - Arlington (UTA), 2006
Approximately 7,000 specimens, primarily collected by UTA professors and students from the North Central Texas area.
BRIT Special Collections
* Nearly 30,000 vouchers for the Philippine Plant Inventory Project (funded by the National Science Foundation)
* Voucher specimens for surveys of parks and natural areas for Texas Parks and Wildlife, the National Park Service, and The Nature Conservancy
* 17,000 specimens from biodiversity surveys in Papua New Guinea
* More than 8,000 vouchers of African plants given as exchange with the Missouri Botanical Garden
* Over 5,000 vouchers from the Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program, funded by the Moore Foundation.
* 930 specimens in the Type Collection
Herbarium Acronym: BRIT
Institution Association: University
Type of Structure: Not seperate
City: Fort Worth
Special Collections: See Long Description
Visitation possible: yes
Index Herbariorum Site Link: [Web Link]
Special Projects: Not listed
Parking: Not Listed
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