The Hyde Herbarium has been fifty years in the making. In the 1960s a group of volunteers from the Arboretum Foundation was established to begin a collection. For many years led by Vera Frasier, a primary advocate for the development of the Herbarium, this core group of volunteers (with a few changes over the years) still meets twice a month and contributes greatly to specimen mounting and processing. Without their involvement and dedication, a herbarium for the UW Botanic Gardens would not be here today.
In1983 Charles H. and Otis Douglas Hyde made a gift to establish a true herbarium. As a result, the Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium was developed and opened at the new Center for Urban Horticulture in 1985. Simultaneously, Dr. Clement Hamilton was hired to lead the Hyde Herbarium and direct students in taxonomic research. Under his vision, the Hyde Herbarium set out to be one of the premiere horticultural herbaria in the country. When Dr. Hamilton left in 1999, Dr. Sarah Reichard, a former graduate student who had worked to develop the herbarium in its early years, assumed responsibility as Curator.