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is kept. At present the Smith College collections may be found in a vault like room (Figure 2), usually locked, crowded with dark green metal cases, on the second floor of Sabin-Reed Hall in Clark Science Center. Authorized students, faculty, or persons from outside the College are given full access to the specimens which, if subject to random browsing by individuals untrained in their handling, would quickly disintegrate and become worthless. In conjunction with living plants on campus and in the Lyman Plant House, they represent a botanical resource unusual for a school the size of Smith and uncommon enough in larger institutions.
    Botany has been taught at Smith since the beginning of the College; a good source of information on its role within the curriculum is a history of the Botany department from 1875 to 1950, compiled by Miss Helen A. Choate and present in the Archives. Newly constructed Lilly Hall in 1886 contained a botanical laboratory with a herbarium to which in 1887 several students and parents contributed sets of exotic plants: Sandwich Island ferns, one hundred specimens from Hawaii, a "fine collection" of California plants. Today if one tries to determine the fate of these gifts, one finds most of the specimens filed with the regular collection. One set, however, bound in heavy silk-backed cardboards with several species artistically arranged on each page, has been kept separate, preserved less for its scientific value than for its evidence of the mingling of aesthetic and botanical inclinations in that period.
    The curriculum itself demonstrates the types of courses in which herbarium collections were important. In 1905 a class in plant classification and ecology was taught. Many colleges and universities have recently been accused of "jumping on the environmental bandwagon," of exploiting the recent flurry of interest in ecology as a source of students and potential funds. At Smith, however, ecology was first the subject of a separate course in 1906, while field botany passed through a series of transmutations, from Classification after its divorce from ecology to Identification in 1908 and then to The Native Flora (1909), Systematic and Economic Botany (1915), Field, Forest, and Garden Botany (1924), and then, breaking as well with hortcultural affiliations, back to Field and Forest Botany in 1927. Beginning in 1923 and continuing for several years, a course entitled Summer Field Work was taught. Students collected, identified, and prepared a set of herbarium specimens during the vacation months, taking an examination in the fall to receive academic credit for their work.
    Meanwhile, during the period 1914-15, the plant collections were moved to larger quarters in newly constructed Burton Hall, which then housed botany on the wing facing onto the botanical gardens and the Lyman Plant House

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