Russula crustosa

The Fungus Collection at the New York State Museum originated from the first New York State Botanist, Charles Horton Peck (1868–1913) who amassed 33,600 mycological specimens. In the years following, the next State Botanist, Homer House, and other mycologists added to this number. Currently, the collection contains more than 90,000 specimens. However, the importance of the collection is not in the number of specimens it contains, but in the over 2,000 type specimens collected during the early years of American mycology. It is especially rich in Agarics and other larger fungi. Some of the other collectors represented in the herbarium are G. F. Atkinson, M. E. Banning, E. Bartholomew, M. J. Berkeley, E. A. Burt, G. W. Clinton, M. C. Cooke, M. A. Curtis, J. Dearness, J. B. Ellis, W. R. Gerard, E. C. Howe, J. H. Haines, H. W. Harkness, E. W. D. Holway, C. H. Kauffman, W. A. Murrill, P. A. Saccardo, S. J. Smith, and C. J. Sprague.

In addition to specimens, the Museum holds numerous original drawings and paintings of fungi by Charles H. Peck, Mary Banning, and others, as well as an extensive file of correspondence covering the formative years of American mycology.

For information about requesting Specimen Loans, please see the Loan Policy.

Database Records

Database records of the type collections are available by searching the New York State Museum Fungi Type Database:

These records are also available on the Mycology Collections Portal:

The remainder of the collection is in the process of being digitized.

Mary Banning

Discover Mary Banning, the Amateur Mycologist from Maryland with World Class Watercolors

The NYSM Collections house over 200 of Mary Elizabeth Banning’s original watercolors, including 175 from the bound manuscript “The Fungi of Maryland.”