|Collected by William Dampier in Australia in 1697|
|Illustration from a Dampier's book|
|Collected by Darwin in Patagonia|
|Collected by Linnaeus|
The oldest item was was a herbaria, dating to 1606, consisting of specimens gathered in Northern Italy by a Capuchin monk, Gregorio Reggio, and was later acquired in Italy by the English botanist William Sherard. It was mislaid for years but was found by George Druce (Flora of Oxford, Flora of Buckinghamshire etc) in a sack in an outbuilding in the university. Druce was a major benefactor to the Herbaria having made a substantial figure from his pharmacy business, for example upwards of £20,000 pera nnum in the period 1910 to 1913.
The total collection consists of over a million items,from all over the world of which around 150,000 have been digitised and catalogued, and are accessible online. (Exploring the Oxford University Heraria) To digitise the remaining 85% of the collection will be a major challenge.