by making a radial slice, ensuring that typical features are preserved. After drying ALL specimens should be placed in a deep freeze at around -20oC for about seven days to kill infecting insects. With these precautions they can be stored in paper envelopes and should remain unchanged for many years, though it is sensible to examine them at intervals for signs of deterioration.
The Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew houses the national collection of fungi, comprising in excess of 250,000 specimens, not including the bulk of the lichenised fungi which are stored at the Natural History Museum in London. Collections are also held at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, CABI Bioscience, and some regional museums. Kew has, however, traditionally been acknowledged as the reference centre for identification of fungi and field mycologists have always been encouraged to submit named specimens for confirmation and for inclusion in the national collection.
In recent times economies and re-organisations have led to reductions in the professional taxonomic staff, and Kew has insufficient resources to identify routine collections made by groups or individuals on forays. It does, however, still provide an informal identification service for those rare or difficult species that have defied local expertise. Specimens submitted for identification should be dried, and accompanied by a full macroscopic description with collection details, including the name of the collector, the date, and grid reference of the location, and with accompanying identification notes and a suggested name. Other welcome submissions are of good, identified, properly prepared and described material for the national collection - even of common species, collections of which may be incomplete or need replacement. Specimens can also be added to the ‘duplicate’ collection for international exchange.
BMS Slide Collection
The Society’s photographic slide collection is available to all members for the purposes of lecturing and generally promoting mycology. Newer members may be glad of information about the material available and the arrangements for borrowing.
The collection comprises around 4000 transparencies; most genera of macrofungi, rusts, some microfungi, lichens (including the British Lichen Society collection), some Myxomycetes and some plant diseases are represented, together with a selection of mycological people and places.
To borrow slides, please give at least three weeks’ notice; listing them alphabetically within taxonomic groups would be helpful, but not essential. The loan is for a maximum of four weeks, although extensions can be negotiated; there is no charge.
This is an active and well-used collection and new and improved contributions are always most welcome. At present slides are available for publication only within the BMS and with the permission of the photographer and the BMS.
The collection is currently housed in the BMS office at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Please send all offers, requests and correspondence to:
Gill Butterfill, BMS Slide Collection, BMS Office, The Wolfson Wing, Jodrell Laboratory, Royal
Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB
Telephone: 020 8332 5720