The Herbarium of the Grenoble Museum (GRM) has, since its creation, an acquisition logic and an a strong “alpin” identity. It constitutes a living heritage of Dauphiné and the Alps flora and the testimony of regional botanists work since the 18th century.
The presence of a herbarium in the the Cabinet of Natural history has been proven since 1801. Among the oldest pieces, there is that of Pierre Liottard, botanist of Grenoble (1728-1796).
Nowadays, the botanical collection of the Grenoble Museum includes mainly herbaria for a estimated total of around 500,000 pieces. The set is composed by about two hundred collections of variable sizes, mainly from the 19th and early 20th century. The plants are mostly tracheophytes, with the bryophytes nevertheless represented, the lichens and the algae being in an smaller number such as the fungi in the broad sense.
The scientific interest (taxonomy, ecology) is significant, recognized and can still grow even more. The exchange of information between the Grenoble Museum and the botanists users is a key factor for the documentation, the enhancement and the retention of the herbarium interest. The large collection of documents (manuscripts, correspondence, flora) allows a better use of the herbarium.
The main types of herbaria which appear in it are:
- Referential herbaria (those of Villars, Mutel, Arvet-Touvet have notably references specimens or “types”).
- Historical herbaria (realized by glorious people at alpin level such as Honnorat, Verlot or at national and European level like Pellat, Nestler or Funck).
- The reference herbaria for the Dauphiné and the Rhone-Alpes region (such as those of Breistroffer, Ravaud, Chatenier… With some gathered in an regional herbarium, they form a huge information source for the study of the distribution and variability of species.
- The herbaria of general references, including the General Herbarium which is coming from the integration of different collections and the related herbaria (Breistroffer out of region…) as well as the Herbarium of Algeria (mainly Reboud and Schmitt).
The Museum of Grenoble do not lend herbarium pieces, but the person in charge of the botanical collections is free to answer various demands of scientists (searches of pieces, high definition pictures, consultation in situ…) as soon as practicable.
For further information:
L'herbier Dominique Villars, Témoin de la Flore du Dauphiné. Poncet V., 1999. Editions du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de la Ville de Grenoble.
Matériaux pour l’histoire de la botanique dauphinoise. Poncet V., Le Journal de Botanique, n°35 – septembre 2006. Société Botanique de France