The New York Botanical Garden is a scientific and educational institution and an indoor and outdoor museum of plants with living collections arranged in gardens and landscapes across its 250-acre site, and it is subject to New York State’s time frames and business and regional criteria for phased reopening.

We are beginning the gradual process of welcoming staff and visitors back to the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium with health and safety protocols that meet or exceed state business requirements, CDC guidelines, and OSHA standards. Please contact us about access to the collection, and please continue to explore our digital resources and check our website for more information about NYBG’s phased reopening.


Can I visit the Herbarium? We are now accepting domestic visitors at a low capacity. Please email Nicole Tarnowsky ( to see if a visit is possible. You can always visit the Virtual Herbarium, which hosts 4.2 million of NY’s specimens in digitized form.

Can I request a loan? Loan requests are being filled, and we appreciate your patience as we operate at continued reduced capacity. We may not be able to send loans as quickly as we have done in the past. Please feel free to email loan requests to receive more information. Meanwhile, users are encouraged to download images from the Virtual Herbarium, and to use the new My Collections feature to help with their research needs.

Can I return a loan, or send gifts or exchange? If you are returning loans of NY specimens, we ask that you please let us know, so that we know to expect your parcels.

Can I still request permission for destructive sampling of NY material? Please email Matthew Pace ( for vascular plants and Laura Briscoe ( for cryptogamic specimens with details about your loan and the specimens you are requesting sampling, so that we can assess.

Can I still update Index Herbariorum information? Yes, herbaria are encouraged to keep their information on the IH up to date. Updates can be made here and new herbaria can be registered here. Unfortunately, new registrations of staff and herbaria will not appear until the Garden re-opens.

Can I still access The Hand Lens? Yes, our public outreach version of the Virtual Herbarium is still up with new content scheduled. We hope reading about plants and the people who collect them may provide some comfort in these times.

What do I need to know about the coronavirus? Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control for the latest information about COVID-19.

We are so grateful for the international community of botanical researchers and herbaria. Thank you for your patience, and we wish you all good health and safety.

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