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Policy Document

Public Tours of the Australian National Herbarium

Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research

In addition to housing over 1.4 million plant specimens, the Australian National Herbarium (ANH) forms a vital part of a working scientific research institution (the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, CANBR). The herbarium is not a public facility and the collections are generally only accessible to approved researchers via prior arrangement in order to protect and preserve the material. Given the public interest in the national collections and the importance of outreach to the non-scientific community, tours of the herbarium are sometimes arranged.

General Principles

All requests for tours should be made to the Botanical Information Manager at the Australian National Botanic Gardens via email to cpbr-info@anbg.gov.au or by phoning (02) 6250 9530. (Exceptions to this would include the Director of CANBR or the ANH Curator providing their own impromptu tours to VIPs etc., but names should still be recorded in the Centre guestbook in the foyer so visitor numbers can be tracked.)

All tours are to be approved by either the Director of CANBR or the ANH Curator or their delegates. Approval will be sought by the Botanical Information Manager, who will liaise with the group making the request and arrange a suitable guide for the tour.

Tours will be run on Monday–Friday (excluding public holidays) between 9 AM and 4 PM.

Since material has to be made available for display, all tours require prior notice of at least two weeks. More notice is required if a group has particular interests or requests as to the material they would like to see, as this often requires additional research, specimen retrieval and interpretation.

Due to their fragility and the impossibility of replacement, historical collections such as Banks & Solander material from the Endeavour voyage will only be displayed for "significant" tours or events via agreement with the ANH Curator.

Given the set-up required and the interruption of other activities, larger tour groups (up to a maximum of 20 people) less often are preferred to frequent smaller groups.

A full tour of the herbarium takes around 90 minutes. Tours may not be suitable for groups with less time available.

While every effort will be made to honour bookings, tours may sometimes have to be cancelled at short notice if staff members are unavailable or for operational reasons.

 

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