Over 500,000 specimens 

From snails to whales, algae to mahogany, our collections preserve an astonishing range of species illustrating the breadth and complexity of our Earth's biodiversity. 



The University of Massachusetts Herbarium collection provided historic specimens for a special exhibit of rare and common orchids growing in the vicinity of Amherst at the Emily Dickinson International Society Annual Meeting, July, 2023, at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The exhibit titled “Orchids of Emily Dickinson's Amherst” by Peter P. Grima ('09MS) was on display in the library and conservatory at the Emily Dickinson Homestead during the meeting open-house.

According to Grima, botanists were very active in the Amherst area during Emily Dickinson's lifetime chiefly due to the culture of scientific inquiry that emanated from Amherst College, and later the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now University of Massachusetts). A formal herbarium – one of the oldest in the country – was established at Amherst College in 1829. Specimens from the Amherst College Herbarium were integrated in the Herbarium at the University of Massachusetts in the 1950’s. 

The subset of orchids on display were collected by Amherst native, Minnie Louise Dana (1862–1943). 

Photo by Peter P. Grima


"A new study led by researchers from the UMass Comparative Primatology Lab details how hair microbiome – the collection of microbes, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and their genes that naturally live on and inside our bodies – differs between human and nonhuman primates. The findings, they say, have important implications for understanding the biology and conservation of wild and captive primates and the uniqueness of the human microbiome" (Inside UMass Weekly, August 11, 2022).

This research was funded in part by the UMNHC Summer Graduate Research Scholarship program. The full paper can be found here