Welcome to the Brown University Herbarium

The Brown University Herbarium (BRU)

The Brown University Herbarium was founded in 1869 when the University acquired the collections of the Providence Franklin Society and Stephen Thayer Olney. The collection includes around 100,000 plant specimens and is an important depository of Rhode Island and New England collections. It is also rich in western and southern North American plants and includes special sets of historically valuable specimens from 19th  and early 20th century western US expeditions. Among other important collections, the herbarium also includes a full set of Charles Wright’s Cuban plants (1856-1867) and a unique and classic collection of Carex. Click here to download a pdf brochure describing the herbarium.

Brown’s herbarium is in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. It is located on the second floor of the Biomedical Center, 171 Meeting Street, Providence. Visitors are welcome to use our data and collections. Hours are from 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Please contact Tim Whitfeld, Collections Manager (401-863-2375), Martha Cooper, Curatorial Assistant (401-863-2204), or Erika Edwards, Herbarium Director (401-863-2081) for access.

Volunteer opportunities at the Brown University Herbarium

Do you have an interest in plant diversity and herbarium work?

Would you like to be involved with volunteer projects at the herbarium?

Contact the collections manager (Timothy_Whitfeld@brown.edu) for more information

At the Brown University Herbarium:

“…..every courtesy will be extended to visiting botanists.” (Botanical Gazette, 1880, 5(12):149-150)


Brown University Herbarium 34 Olive St Box G-B225 Providence, RI 02912, USA


Brown University Herbarium, 171 Meeting Street (Room 225), Providence, RI 02912, USA map