The Bell Museum was established in 1872 by the state legislature. The Herbarium started in 1889 with the purchase of John Sandberg's private collection (6000 specimens). The representation of Minnesota's flora is unparalleled and the assemblage of historic flora of the Upper Midwest is among the best in the U.S. Additionally there are excellent collections of circumboreal and arctic material and historical collections of H. Rusby and R. Squires (1895-1896, Orinoco River delta), J.W. Congdon (1894-1903, California, especially the Yosemite region); South Pacific collections of J. Tilden, A.A. Heller, and J.W. Moore; and more recent Papua New Guinea flora (G. Weiblen and students). Currently the Herbarium contains approximately 940,000 botanical and mycological specimens combined. Only the vascular plant records are being posted to this site at this time.