There are no living herbs in the N.C.W. Beadle Herbarium. Rather, it is a plant museum and facility for research, research training, teaching, and outreach to the regional community.
The N.C.W. Beadle Herbarium safely houses c. 90,000 databased pressed and dried plant specimens dating from the 1880s in a purpose-built facility. These specimens are extremely valuable resources from both scientific and historical perspectives, and are the foundations of contemporary botanical knowledge. The Herbarium is internationally recognised and complies with the international protocols that enable it to exchange specimens with, borrow from and lend to other recognised herbaria across the globe to facilitate scientific research.
The Herbarium has a comprehensive representation of plants from the Northern Tablelands, North Coast, and North West Slopes regions of NSW, strong representation of Australian Flora, and a useful cross section of the World’s flora.
The Herbarium is over 50 years old. In the 1980s, the herbarium database was designed and started, making it one of the first databased herbaria in the country. In 1984 the collection was officially recognized and named the UNE Herbarium. In 1997 the Herbarium moved to its current facility and was re-named the N.C.W. Beadle Herbarium, recognizing the foundation Professor of Botany at UNE, Noel Beadle. The Herbarium is a teaching resource for botany, agronomy, evolution and biogeography (we have a separate student collection for undergraduates). Various Masters and Ph.D. students use the herbarium extensively. Various research projects use the herbarium at any one time.