Barbados Herbarium

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Brief History

The Barbados Herbarium of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, was established by the then Biology Department (now Department of Biological & Chemical Sciences) in 1977. It was formed from the fusion of three herbaria in the island, formerly belonging to the Department of Agriculture, the Barbados Museum & Historical Society and the Lodge School.

The Department of Agriculture herbarium was the oldest of these and was built up mainly by agriculturists J.R. Bovell, W.G. Freeman and J.S. Dash. The Museum herbarium was started in 1935 by the sugarcane breeder A.E.S. McIntosh and a group of enthusiasts. The Lodge School herbarium was also started in the 1930's by E.G.B. Gooding and his cousin H.B. Gooding and their students at the school. Several of their specimens appear as duplicates in the Museum collection.

In recent years the Barbados Herbarium has been expanded with specimens collected in the Eastern Caribbean and with algal and Bryophyte specimens. Since 2000, a small collection of duplicate specimens of the original Museum collection has been housed once again at the Barbados Museum. The Barbados Herbarium currently comprises about 4000 specimens.