History of the Herbarium

History of the Collections

The Tennessee Technological University Herbarium was established in 1965 by Dr. S. K. Ballal. Dr. Ballal was teaching Local Flora at the time, and began the herbarium a reference collection for teaching and research. The collection eventually outgrew itself in the West Annex, and was moved to Pennebaker Hall in 1969. At that time, the Herbarium was formally named in honor of Dr. Paul L. Hollister, Associate Professor of Biology at TTU from 1950 to 1971. Dr. Hollister was a talented botanist with a great interest in the Asteraceae, especially the genus Chrysopsis. He participated in the Smoky Mountain Wildflower Pilgrimages and was an active member of the Tennessee Academy of Science for almost 29 years. For these reasons, Dr. Ballal and other TTU Biology faculty felt that the Herbarium should be named in his honor. The collection has grown since its creation in 1965, with more than 25,000 specimens at present. Curators of the collection since its inception include S. K. Ballal (1965-1970), Gordon Hunter (1970-1990), Felix Coe (1996-2006), Christy Carter (2007-2012), and Shawn Krosnick (2013 to present).

The TTU Herbarium is part of the newly formed Tennessee Consortium of Herbaria and is working collaboratively to share scientific resources with other Tennessee institutions. The TTU Herbarium is also affiliated with SERNEC (Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections), whose goal is to join together ca. 150 regional herbaria in the Southeast US to produce an online database of all collections. It is our hope that the Hollister Herbarium will continue to grow over the next decade through increased specimen collections from Tennessee, surrounding states, and international locations.