In 1816, James Edward Smith, purchaser of Carolus Linnaeus's herbarium and founder of the Linnean Society of London, considered the herbarium of William Sherard to be 'perhaps, except that of Linnaeus, the most ample, authentic, and valuable botanical record in the world'. At a similar time, the German-American botanist Friedrich Traugott Pursh, an authority on the North American flora, stated Sherard Herbarium to be 'the most complete collection of North American plants now extant' . Despite the prestige of the Sherard Herbarium in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it has rarely been studied in detail.
This searchable database contains images of the whole of the Sherard Herbarium with the aim of promoting access to and use of this important botanical resource. Key archival materials relevant to the Sherard Herbarium are held by the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the Royal Society.
This website provides access to basic data and images of the specimens in the herbarium of William Sherard. The Sherard Herbarium is one of the founding collections of Oxford University Herbaria.