All professional and amateur botanists, or members of the public, are welcome to make use of the Wisconsin State Herbarium. Visitors may examine specimens once they check-in with and are oriented by a member of the Herbarium staff and receive instruction as to the proper handling of specimens. There are no charges for on-site study of the collections. The Herbarium is open most weekdays from 7:45am – 4:30pm, or by special appointment outside of these hours (e.g., on holidays, weekends & evenings). Contact the Director to arrange a tour or for further information.
The Wisconsin State Herbarium is located on the first floor in the east wing of Birge Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Birge Hall is on the south side of Bascom Hill on the east end of campus, near the intersection of Park St. and University Ave., the major intersection on campus.
Hours: The Herbarium is normally open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is always advisable to call ahead to make sure staff will be present at the time of your proposed visit, especially if you are coming from off campus. Special arrangements can be made for consultation of specimens and library resources evenings or weekends.
Tours: Although primarily a research facility, non-professional as well as professional groups from on- and off-campus are welcome to come for tours of the Herbarium, but reservations must be made in advance. Tours usually take 30 to 50 minutes but can be extended to meet the desires of guests. Students high school age and younger usually do not find herbaria interesting unless a tour is part of a larger curriculum unit on botany, biology, or natural history. To make a reservation, please contact the Director or Collections Manager.
Resources for visitors: Herbarium staff can provide specimen study space, temporary specimen storage, dissecting microscopes, annotation labels, computer connections, and access to the non-circulating Herbarium Library.
Visitor responsibilities: When arriving at the Herbarium, please check in with one of the curators and sign the Visitor Logbook. No food or drink is allowed inside the collections area. No specimens, literature, or equipment can be removed from the herbarium without the consent of the staff. Material such as leaves, pollen, or wood must not be removed from herbarium specimens without prior written consent (instructions on handling and use of specimens are given under “Policy and Procedures”). Staff can provide information on photocopying, ‘phone use, etc.
From the intersection of Park St. and University Ave., the major intersection on campus, head north on Park St. After passing barely beyond Chadbourne Hall on the left (cream and brown brick dormitory with green panels between the windows), opposite the main entrance to the Humanities Building on the right and before coming to the pedestrian bridge over Park St., turn left onto Lathrop Dr. Proceed uphill to Birge Hall, passing the back sides of Chadbourne and Lathrop halls on the left and Music Hall and Law School on the right. (Note: Lathrop Dr. street sign at Park is atop a stop sign.) When you see the large bur oak tree and the greenhouses, Birge will be directly in front of you.
Highway 151 (southwest)
Take Hwy. 151 northeast (as you approach Madison, Hwy. 151 becomes Verona Rd., and as you pass under Hwys.12/18, its name changes to Midvale Blvd.). Stay on Midvale until you reach a T-intersection with University Ave. (2.7 miles). Turn right on University and go 1 mile to the Y-intersection where University splits into old University Ave. and Campus Dr. Angle left onto Campus Dr. (Campus Dr. makes another oblique left and changes to W. Johnson St. near the School of Engineering). Stay left, continuing east to N. Park St. Turn left onto Park and go north barely more than one block. After crossing University Ave., just beyond Chadbourne Hall on the left and before coming to the pedestrian bridge over Park St., turn left (west) onto Lathrop Dr. Proceed uphill to Birge Hall. [hot link to Google map “from Verona Road at West Beltline Highway to 430 Lincoln Dr., Madison, WI”]
Interstate I-90 (south)
Approaching Madison on I-90 from Chicago, exit from the left lane onto Hwys. 12/18 West (Exit 142A). Stay on Hwys.12/18 (= West Beltline) for 4.8 miles until you reach John Nolen Dr. Merge right onto Nolen (Exit 263), and soon thereafter, beyond the Alliant Energy Center on the left, turn left onto Olin Ave. Stay on Olin until you reach a T-intersection with S. Park St. Turn right onto Park, and after crossing Regent St. and W. Johnson St. (four lanes one-way east), keep an eye out for University Ave. (four lanes one-way west). Continue across University. Almost immediately, just beyond Chadbourne Hall on the left and before coming to the pedestrian bridge over Park St., turn left onto Lathrop Dr. Proceed uphill to Birge Hall. [hot link to Google map “from: I-39 S/I-90 E to: 430 Lincoln Dr, Madison, WI”]
Interstate I-94 (east)
Approaching Madison on I-94 from Milwaukee, stay on I-94, which will become Hwy. 30 near Madison. Stay on Hwy. 30 until you get to the State Capital exit. Turn right onto E. Washington Ave. Take E. Washington for 2 miles and turn right on First St. At the next stop light (a T-intersection), turn left onto E. Johnson St. (this street will change names twice—to E. Gorham St. where it veers right near the Tenney Park lagoons and then to University Ave. where it veers right again). Once the street becomes University, stay toward the right until you get to N. Park St. (three blocks; there is a stoplight at this intersection). Turn right onto Park St., then immediately left onto Lathrop Dr. just past Chadbourne Hall on the left and before reaching the pedestrian bridge over Park St. Proceed uphill to Birge Hall.
Highway 14 (west)
From Spring Green take Hwy. 14 through Middleton (Hwy 14 will become University Ave.). Stay in the center or left lane. After 3 to 4 miles old University Ave. splits off from Campus Dr. Veer left onto Campus Dr. (this drive becomes W. Johnson St. in the vicinity of the Engineering School and N. Randall Ave.). Continue east on Johnson two long blocks to N. Park St. Turn left onto Park and almost immediately left again, after passing the first building on the left (Chadbourne Hall) and before reaching the pedestrian bridge over Park St. Proceed up Lathrop to Birge Hall.
Interstate I-90/94 (north)
From La Crosse or Minneapolis/St. Paul take I-90/94 east to Hwy. 151 south (Hwy. 151 becomes E. Washington Ave.). Stay on East Washington for 3 miles. Turn right on First St., then left (at the next stoplight) onto E. Johnson St. (this street will change names twice—to E. Gorham St. where it angles right near the Tenney Park lagoons, then to University Ave. where it angles right again). Continue on University, staying in the right lane, until you get to N. Park St. (three blocks; there is a stoplight at this intersection). Turn right onto Park, then almost immediately turn left onto Lathrop Dr., just past Chadbourne Hall on the left and before reaching the pedestrian bridge over Park St. Proceed uphill to Birge Hall.
Parking on campus is limited and expensive. There are four metered parking spots alongside Lathrop Hall and one at the west end of the greenhouses behind Birge. The campus map (available on-line) shows the location of ramps and meters. You can stop by Transportation Services, 21 N. Park St., check www.transportation.wisc.edu/parking, or call 263-6667 for information. Parking and transportation maps, bus schedules, and campus information are available at: 124 WARF Building, corner of Walnut St. and Observatory Dr. (608-263-6667); G5/140 Clinical Science Center, at the UW Hospital and Clinics; Transportation Information Place at the Memorial Union, corner of Park St. and Observatory Dr. (608-262-7707); and at booth-attended ramps. Full- and half-day permits may be purchased weekdays for some lots at these locations.
Metered parking for the east campus is available at Lot 6, under Helen C. White (2-hour meters); Lot 7, Grainger Hall Garage (N. Brooks St. between University and W. Johnson; 2- and 3-hour meters); Lot 83, under the Fluno Center off Frances St. (attendant); and Lot 29 (21 N. Park at the corner of Regent St.). Convenient to Birge Hall are the City of Madison ramps near the east end of campus on N. Lake St. (Lake Street Ramp, between University Ave. and State St.; 10-hour meters) and N. Frances St. (SE Campus Ramp, between University Ave. and W. Johnson St.; 8-hour meters).
Walking is the most efficient way to get around much of the campus. The free daytime route 80 bus is the main campus circulator, serving major campus locations. View schedule. The evening routes 80, 81, and 82 run circular routes that provide free service from 6:30 p.m. until approximately 1:45 a.m. Evening routes are not available during academic recesses or in the summer.
Madison Metro provides daily service throughout the city and surrounding areas. Most buses stop in the campus area. Passengers may transfer from campus buses to Madison Metro buses along University Avenue and State, Johnson, and Park streets.
The Lowell Center, 610 Langdon St. (608-256-2621, 866-301-1753; www.conferencing.uwex.edu/lodging.cfm), is located on the UW-Madison campus one block from State St., one block from Memorial Union, and three blocks from Birge Hall. It offers small but clean guest rooms and an expanded continental breakfast. Parking is available also. The Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St. (608-262-1583; www.union.wisc.edu/guestrooms) is situated in the heart of the east campus and overlooks Lake Mendota. You may contact Memorial Union Guestrooms directly (608-263-2600; www.hotel&union.wisc.edu ). The Wisconsin Union Hotel at Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St. (608-263-2600; http://www.union.wisc.edu/wuhotel.htm), is located in the west-center of campus about two blocks from Birge Hall. Note: Hotel rooms (Memorial Union and Union South) are closed during winter break, from mid-December to the beginning of January.
Several hotels are located within walking distance to campus. The University Inn, 441 N. Frances St. (1-885-873-6563) is situated at a corner with State St., very close to the UW campus and other Madison points of interest. Among other amenities it offers free parking. For a complete listing of area hotels contact the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau, 615 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53703 (608-255-2537; 800-373-6376; www.visitmadison.com).
You may bring lunch and eat on your own outside or with the staff at 12:00 noon in Room 158 Birge. Otherwise, Memorial Union and Union South offer a variety of dining options, and the union operates delicatessens in several major campus buildings (see campus map or www.union.wisc.edu/food). University Housing welcomes guests to all of its cafeteria dining rooms, carryout stores, and coffee shops (see campus map or www.housing.wisc.edu/dining). If you prefer, you can walk to one of the many nearby restaurants, cafes, delicatessens, or food carts, which offer all types of food, everything from excellent continental cuisines to burgers as well as exotic dishes from foreign lands.