Collections held at the Australian Tropical Herbarium are collectively known by the Index Herbariorum code CNS. The CNS collection is comprised of ca. 180,000 specimens that are pressed, dried and mounted on herbarium sheets held in the Collection Room, and ca. 18,000 specimens that are preserved in 70% ethanol held in the Spirit Room. Collections are stored in rolling compactus units.
CNS is an amalgamation of the following collections:
QRS The Australian National Herbarium – Atherton collection. This collection was integrated into CNS in 2007 and includes:
CAIRNS herbarium of the North Queensland Naturalists’ Club including the collections of Hugo Flecker. Incorporated into QRS in 1971.
AFO – the Atherton Forestry Office collection. Donated to QRS in the 1980s and incorporation completed in 1994. Includes important paper archives that relate to the specimens. Many of the specimens are the coding vouchers for the Rain Forest Key. Important collections include Bernie Hyland, Bruce Gray, Alex Dockrill, large spirit and woodblock collections.
BRIU in part (rainforest specimens).
MBA The Queensland Herbarium – Mareeba collection. Integrated into CNS in 2007. Important collections include John Clarkson collections.
The CNS collection is housed in state-of-the-art climate controlled facilities, and protected by an integrated pest management program, and heat/smoke detection and FM200 gas release systems.