Since its establishment in the early 1880s, the Herbarium has served as the chief repository for the University's collection of flora as well as a laboratory for the study and identification of plants and fungi. Managed since 1883 by a Curator under the auspices of the Department of Botany and Horticulture, the focus of the Herbarium has shifted away from the traditional role of student instruction and more toward the acquisition and cataloging of Pacific Northwest plant specimens. As a research facility, the Herbarium has become the leading center for research on the taxonomy of mycorrhizal fungi. Currently housed at Cordley Hall, the Herbarium has moved many times from its original location in Education Hall. The Herbarium has also resided in the Strand Agricultural building, the basement of the Memorial Union, and Gill Coliseum. In 1993, under pressure to cut costs stemming from state budget reductions, the University of Oregon Herbarium merged with the facility at OSU, increasing the number of plant specimens housed at Cordley Hall by nearly one- third. Willamette University's collection of flora has also recently been transferred to the OSU Herbarium.
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