With it’s around 6 000 000 specimens, the collection of the CJB is one of the most important in the world. It is derived from a long tradition of botany in Geneva that dates back to the 1800’s. It contains plants and fungi from the entire world, but in particular, those of the Mediterranean, the Near and Far East, South America and Europe.
The history of the General Collection began with the gift of the Haller filius herbarium in 1823, but it was with the arrival of the Benjamin Delessert herbarium collection in 1869 (300 000 specimens from across the world) that the Botanical Conservatory acquired its true international status. Subsequent collections have enriched the General Collection, whose growth continues by exchanges, gifts and acquisitions, and through the collections of the Institution’s botanists. Amongst the most important collections that are included in the General Herbarium, one might mention:
- Aellen; W. Barbey; P. E. Boissier; A. P. de Candolle; A. L. P. P. de Candolle; A. C. P. de Candolle; E. Hassler; W. G. F. Herter; A. Huber-Morath; R. V. Litardière; G. Looser; P. Mouterde; H. Pabot; K. H. Rechinger; G. F. Reuter.
- J. Brun (Diatomées); A. P. De Candolle; J.-E. Duby (Musci); J. Favre (Basidiomycètes); V. Fayod (Basidiomycètes); A. L. A. Fée (Ascomycètes lichénisés); K. W. G. L. Fuckel (Ascomycètes); J. Hedwig (Musci); J. B. Jack (Hepaticae); M. Josserand (Basidiomycètes); R. Kühner (Basidiomycètes); J. Müller Argoviensis (Ascomycètes lichénisés); C. G. D. Nees (Musci); L. E. Schaerrer (Ascomycètes lichénisés); F. Stephani (Hepaticae).
These correspond, in general, to a reference work, after which the collection is organized in an order that is unchangeable. The specimens in these collections are never loaned.
G-DC (the de Candolle herbarium): this herbarium includes the materials used in the compilation of the Prodrome and for the “Monographiae Phanerogamarium” (the other collection within the herbarium of de Candolle have been incorporated into the General Herbarium (G)).
G-BOIS (“Flora Orientalis”): this herbarium was reconstituted during the 1960’s on the basis of materials cited in “Flora Orientalis” (the other collections in the Boissier collection have also been incorporated into the General Herbarium (G)).
G-BU (the Burnat herbarium) is made up of the “Herbier des Alpes maritimes”, an herbarium of European plants (containing the series collected by John Briquet and used for his Prodrome de la Flore Corse) and the herbarium of Thuret.
G-PREL (The Pre-Linnaean collections): This is a collection of around 30 000 ancient specimens and is composed of collections of the 1700’s and 1800’s, originating from India, Ceylon, the Cape of Good Hope and the West Indies, amongst other locations.