TAU is a fairly small Herbarium holding around 70,000 specimens of vascular plants. It also comprises the MicroAlgae and Cyanobacteria Culture Collection (TAU-MAC) . It belongs to the School of Biology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and is affiliated with the Laboratory of Systematic Botany & Phytogeography.
TAU holds historical collections dating back from the early 19th century up to the late 30’s (approximately 6,000 specimens), as well as more recent collections of previous and current members of the Laboratory of Systematic Botany and Phytogeography, postgraduate students and doctoral candidates. At least 1,000 new specimens are added to the collections every year. Most of the specimens deposited at TAU come from Greece, but there are also several specimens from European countries or other continents.
The last years TAU has launched an effort to enhance the management of the collections, by adopting an electronic system. At the same time, the digitisation of TAU collections has begun, starting with the historical collections. So far, some 1,500 specimens and their label information have been cataloged, geo-referenced and photographed, in order to bring its collections to light, as well as to enhance their accessibility from the scientific community.
TAU aims to: (a) preserve and enrich its collections, (b) promote the study of plant diversity and support the research in all relevant disciplines; (c) promote the education of students and contribute to the knowledge, understanding and management of Greek phytodiversity.