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Location.  The Fungarium is housed on the first floor of the Robert A. Evers Laboratory located at 1909 South Oak Street on the south end of campus at the University of Illinois. 

History*.  The mycological collections of the Illinois Natural History Survey and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign originated with the rust collection of A.B. Seymour (1881-1886) and the powdery mildew collection of T.J. Burrill (1882 -1885). These collections were integrated and housed in the Natural History Building on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign until 1921, when the plant disease specimens were segregated and became the basis for the plant disease collection of the Illinois Natural History Survey. The program for collecting, identifying, and preserving plant disease specimens originated in 1881 and was expanded between 1921 and 1924 when special emphasis was placed on obtaining information on plant disease in the state. By 1924, 18,000 plant disease specimens had been added to the collection.  Gilbert L. Stout (1926-1930) was the first plant pathologist to concentrate on surveying plant disease in Illinois; he was succeeded by Gideon H. Boewe (1930-1966). Boewe's interest was the incidence, distribution, and severity of plant diseases. His specimens, together with those of Leo R. Tehon (1921-1954), who specialized in Ascomycetes and Fungi Imperfecti that cause plant disease, form a substantial part of the Survey's mycological collection.  James C. Carter (1934-1974) was an authority on the diseases of shade trees and ornamentals. His special interest was pathogenic fungi of woody ornamentals and he contributed numerous specimens to the mycological collection. J. Leland Crane (1967-2001) succeeded Boewe, and to date he has contributed numerous specimens of Ascomycetes and Fungi Imperfecti from decaying substrates in aquatic systems. In 2004, Andrew N. Miller succeeded Crane as mycologist and is currently adding specimens of Basidiomycetes and terrestrial Ascomycetes to the Illinois Natural History Survey mycological collections.

*Primarily excerpted from Crane, J.L. and P.P Tazik. 1992. Catalog of types of the Illinois Natural History Survey mycological collections (ILLS). Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 34(6): 535–550.

Holdings.  The Illinois Natural History Survey (ILLS) Fungarium contains over 70,000 specimens including approximately 12,000 basidiomycetes, 25,000 ascomycetes, 15,000 imperfect fungi, 11,000 lichens, 1,200 zygomycetes and oomycetes, and 1,500 myxomycetes. The collection also possesses 995 type specimens, mostly ascomycetes and imperfect fungi, including 235 holotypes and 555 isotypes and/or paratypes. The fungi are mostly collected from throughout North America with a large plant pathological collection from Illinois, a large aquatic ascomycete collection from the United States and Canada, and a smaller ascomycete collection from the neotropics.  As of July 2011, the University of Illinois (ILL) Fungarium is now housed at the same location as the ILLS specimens.  This collection contains over 95,000 specimens of mostly ascomycetes and imperfect fungi and includes 4009 type specimens and 43,394 exsiccati.  Download a PDF of our exsiccati here.  All fungal specimens at Southern Illinois University (SIU) were acquired in 2011.  This collection contains over 8000 specimens of mostly basidiomycetes, but also includes 600 myxomycetes from G.W. Martin.  All fungal specimens at Eastern Illinois University (EIU) were acquired in 2013.  This collection contains over 15,000 specimens of mostly basidiomycetes and over 5000 lichens.  In total, there are over 183,000 fungal specimens housed at the Illinois Natural History Survey ranking it within the top ten largest fungaria in the United States.

Access.  Access to the collection by qualified researchers is normally available from 8:30am-5pm M-F and may be arranged by contacting the Collection Manager, Jamie Minnaert-Grote, or the Director, Dr. Andrew Miller

Specimen loans.  Specimen loans are available to qualified researchers.  Loans are generally made for a period of one year, renewable upon request.  Primary types are generally loaned for a period of one month from the date received by the borrower and are non-renewable.  Holotypes, isotypes, and a major portion of the type material of each species described based on INHS specimens must be returned.  Details of the collection policy may be seen here.

Accessioning and maintenance.  In general, specimens will not be accessioned unless they have been properly curated and have data that includes at least the collection locality and date. All collections have been identified to genus and most to species. Standard methods of preserving, maintaining, and mounting specimens are followed.  Pest control procedures include the limited use of naphthalene, scheduled inspections of all drawers in the collection, freezing of all incoming material, avoidance of food and water sources in the collection, and general housekeeping.

Databases.  Collection information for all ILLS collections have been databased and is available through the MyCoPortal on the Symbiota website.  Type specimens in ILL have been databased and are available here.

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The INHS WeDigBio Event is in a few short weeks. Have you registered? 

Click here for more information. 

 

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