• Prior to visiting the Compton Herbarium researchers are requested to notify the Collections Manager of the dates of the intended visit and brief project details.
  • Visitors are requested to report to the secretary when entering the herbarium. You will be required to sign the visitors book daily for the duration of your stay.
  • The herbarium will be open from Monday to Friday (08h00 to 16h30) and closed over weekends and public holidays.
  • To prevent psoccid infestations all dried incoming material will be kept in the herbarium freezers for at least 48 hours. This rule will not be compromised and untreated material will under no circumstances be allowed into the herbarium.
  • Herbarium sheets must be handled with care at all times and should never be laid face down.


  • A quick guide is available for visitors who wish to do their own identifications. A handling fee will be levied for each specimen identified should the visitor wish the herbarium staff to render this service. Costing can be obtained from the secretary.
  • Drying facilities for plant presses are available on a first come first serve basis. All plant presses must be clearly marked with your name before placing them in the drier.
  • Visitors are expected to prepare their own specimens. Material left lying around will be discarded.
  • Visitors are free to use the library but no books or journals may be removed from the herbarium. Photocopying from old and rare books stored in the locked cabinets is not permitted.
  • A photocopier is available for use by visitors. Please settle your account before departing.
  • A workbench in the herbarium is available for visitors. The area is equipped with a dissecting microscope, computer, flatbed scanner and computer-network points. You are requested to keep this area clean and tidy as it is a shared facility.
  • A shared visitors' office equipped with a computer, network point and locker is available on request.


  • Plant presses can be rented at R150 per press, consisting of two wooden boards, two straps, 10 corrugated cardboards, and 6 kg drying paper. A deposit of R300 will be levied for each plant press. The weight of the drying paper will be checked when the plant press is returned and the user will be charged for missing paper.
  • Flimsies (newsprint) are sold in 25 and 50 sheet packets and do not come with the press.
  • A handling fee will be levied should you wish parcels to be wrapped. Official parcels may be sent from the herbarium. Postage costs can be calculated and must be paid to the secretary.
  • Loan requests should be made in writing using an official letterhead. Once approved the botanist responsible for the family will select material. Only half of the collection will be sent at one time. When the material has been returned the remaining sheets will be made available on request. A set of conditions governing loans will accompany each loan.
  • Types will not be sent unless specifically requested. If there is no need to study the type collections in detail, digital images can be provided.

    For a detailed schedule of costs please contact the herbarium
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