W.P. Fraser Herbarium (SASK)
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan
51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada     S7N 5A8
U of S

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Herbarium Usage Policy

As of October 2008, the W. P. Fraser (SASK) Herbarium has adopted an official usage policy. Users of SASK’s facilities enjoy the privilege of a much more open usage policy than other herbaria. In fact, many herbaria do not allow access to users below the graduate student level. Since many of our visitors are not familiar with common usage rules for herbaria, there is a need for clearly defined rules about what can and cannot be done at the SASK facilities. The following rules must me followed when using the herbarium. Users who do not follow these rules will not be allowed access to the herbarium.

  1. All users must have gone through a training session on how to use the herbarium and handle specimens. Users that have not had such a training session should request a training session from the curator or herbarium technician.
  2. When you plan to work in the herbarium, inform the herbarium technician that you wish to use the facilities. All users must have authorization from staff prior to their work in the herbarium. Please be prepared to state the purpose of studying the collections. Users are expected to sign the registration book when you come in.
  3. Freezing of plant material - NEW POLICY : Material that is to be examined using the herbarium facilities must first be frozen at -80C for one week by Herbarium staff before entering the herbarium. If you have specimens for the SASK Herbarium, please call (306)966-4968 or email us at BEFORE bringing in your specimens to remove the possibility of introducing insect pests. Collections can be mailed in advance for freezing. Insects pose a serious threat to the herbarium specimens. Serious infestations can destroy entire collections!
  4. Specimens must not to be removed from the herbarium without permission of the herbarium staff.
  5. Food and drink ARE NOT allowed in the herbarium. Food crumbs and residues attract insects and the risk of spilling beverages poses an undue risk to the herbarium specimens.
  6. Users are not allowed to dissect or remove material without explicit permission from the Curator. Users should consult the herbarium technician about the SASK’s destructive sampling policy if you do wish to remove material from specimens.
  7. If you run across damaged specimens or insects, please inform the curator or herbarium technician immediately. In addition to monitor the cabinet area, the curator and herbarium technician will repair or quarantine the specimen as necessary.
  8. When using the herbarium do not leave the cabinet doors open. Not only does this impede access of other users of the herbarium, it allows easy access for insect pests to the herbarium specimens.
  9. Users are expected to use the herbarium during the operating hours (usually 8:30AM-4:30 PM, when the herbarium technician is present). In special cases, permission may be granted to stay after hours. Please consult the curator or the herbarium technician if you wish to use the herbarium after hours.
  10. When leaving the herbarium, users are expected to return all specimens in their appropriate genus folders to their original location. DO NOT re-file specimens if you are unsure about their exact place in the cabinet, set them aside and let the herbarium technician know about it. Users of the herbarium are expected to use cardboard markers to note the location of any folders they have removed.
  11. If you have annotated one or more specimens please inform the herbarium technician of this, so that the specimens can be set-aside for entry into the herbarium database. Annotations should be made on a separate annotation label, available from the herbarium technician.
  12. Users of the herbarium are expected to deposit all garbage and recyclables in the appropriate containers at each station.
  13. Users of the herbarium are expected to treat the herbarium specimens in an appropriate manner. If you are unsure about how to treat herbarium specimens, please consult the curator or herbarium technician.
  14. Certain books in the herbarium library are available for loan. Consult the curator or herbarium technician if you wish to borrow a book.
  15. If you use our material as part of a study or research paper, please cite the specimen with the herbarium acronym “SASK”. Please inform herbarium staff that the specimens are being used for a publication. Reprints of all papers would be appreciated.
  16. Please consult the Curator or herbarium technician if you have any question regarding our policies. Reviews on how to handle herbarium specimens are quite welcome.

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Dr. Hugo Cota-Sanchez
W. P. Fraser Herbarium (SASK)