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Since so many types of the general herbarium were destroyed the extant special collections are very important.

The extensive spirit collection was almost completely saved. The greater part of this collection comprises specimens of flowering plants (fruits, large flowers, entire plants, etc.). There are also several bottles of algae, fungi, ferns, and gymnosperms. This special collection contains many type specimens or fragments of types that were destroyed in the herbarium (cf. list of type specimens of Cactaceae by Leuenberger 1978 & 1979). The spirit collection comprises ca. 13,000 bottles (Potztal 1962: 42).

The collection of gymnosperm cones (also twigs and male strobili) is completely extant (ca. 1,500 nos.).

The old collection of fruits and seeds (ca. 7,000 nos. of dried specimens) is also largely extant and includes many type fragments. After World War II a few other collections (Vilmorin-Andrieux, Wittmack, Schiemann, etc.) came into the possession of the Museum. The collection of fruits and seeds comprises almost. 15,000 nos. The specimens stored in the main herbarium (nearly 11,000) have been recorded in a database, the remainder consists of separately stored collections not yet catalogued.

The greater part of the collection of wood samples has also been saved. It totals ca. 8,200 samples and comprises several larger extra-European collections (cf. Potztal 1962: 41 f. and the citation of wood samples in Brunel et al.1985).

The collection of galls (cf. Urban 1916: 416) is completely extant (66 fascicles). Some additional large collections not yet inserted are those of F. Thomas, L. Geisenheyner, H. Harms and others.

There is also a small collection of fossils with about 300 specimens from Central Europe comprising all periods of geological history. Most fossils have been in the Museum since before 1943.

Fortunately G. Schweinfurth's amazing collection of vegetal remains from Egyptian tombs was saved; it comprises 392 samples (Germer 1986).

Zepernick (1985) reports on another paleo-ethnobotanical collection of the Botanical Museum containing plant remains from Neolithic and Bronze age lake dwellings in C. Europe.

Last but not least two additional extant old collections should be mentioned: a rather large collection of resins, balsamic resins, lacs, copals, latexes, etc. (with many samples from Schweinfurth and other famous collectors), and a large collection of plant fibres.