The Edwin B. Kurtz Herbarium was started with the creation of the university in 1973. Dr. Kurtz, founding professor and chair of Life Sciences and Chemistry, set up the initial protocol and specimen collections with students through 1989. Dr. R. Douglas Spence continued the maintenance and expansion of the herbarium with personal and student collections through the present. The herbarium collection remains comparatively small, about 1,300 species in 108 families, due largely to restricted storage space. The herbarium, as established by Dr. Kurtz, is restricted to vascular plants collected only in the state of Texas. The specimens are principally from the surrounding Permian Basin, but all parts of Texas are represented. Families Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Poaceae, and West Texas wildflowers are particularly well represented and subdivided by tribe or subfamily. This collection is being digitized with support from a Department of Education grant, Hispanic Serving Institutions – Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics (HSI-STEM), in collaboration with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.