The Herbarium of the University of Belgrade, located at the Institute of Botany and Botanical Garden "Jevremovac" of the Faculty of Biology, is one of the most important and the richest collections in Southeastern Europe, and as such is included in the Index Herbariorum, the global directory of registered herbaria in the world, under the herbarium code BEOU.
The herbarium was established in 1860 when the famous Serbian botanist Josif Pančić gave his herbarium collection to the Great School, the current University of Belgrade. In addition to Pančić, who is considered the founder, numerous generations of our botanists of the 19th and 20th centuries have contributed to the enrichment of the Herbarium, such as S. Petrović, P. Jurišić, Đ. Ilić, Đ. Ničić, S. Pelivanović, N. Košanin, T. Soška, L. Adamović, V. Blečić, I. Rudski, P. Černjavski, B. Tatić, M.M. Janković, J. Blaženčić and many others. Over the past 30 years, the greatest contribution to the enrichment of Herbarium, with over 60,000 herbarium specimens, has been given by researchers of the recent generations: V. Stevanović, D. Lakušić, S. Jovanović, G. Tomović, S. Vukojičić, etc., during their research of flora and vegetation primarily of the Balkan, and partly of the Apennine and the Pyrenees Peninsulas.
Today, 157 years after its establishment, Herbarium contains over 200,000 specimens of vascular plants, mosses and algae. A large number of herbarium specimens of vascular plants were obtained by exchange with institutions from Europe and the world. All the exsiccates are organized in six collections:
• Herbarium Pancicianum
• Herbarium Generale (with the collection of the Institute for Ecology and Biogeography, SANU)
• Collection of the Department for Plant Ecology and Geography
• Collection of the Department for Plant Morphology and Systematics
• Collection of bryophytes
• Wet collection of the Department for Algology, Mycology and Lichenology
From a historical point of view, the collection of Josif Pančić (Herbarium Pancicianum) should be singled out as one of the most important collection. This collection contains, in most, the exsiccates from the territories of Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria, which were the basis for the first regional Floras of these countries. In addition to Pančić's collection, Herbarium contains valuable collections of Sava Petrović and Sava Hilandarac from the XIX century, as well as the collections of Nedeljko Košanin and Teodor Soška from the beginning of the 20th century. In addition to these collections, a great number of exsiccates were obtained through the exchange, not only from the Balkans and Europe but also worldwide. The largest number of specimens were collected by the world's leading botanists of the time: T. Helldreich, T. Orphanidis, A. Hayek, E. Halacsy, O. Sendtner, A. Grisebach, J. Velenovsky, V. Janka, P. Boissier, E. Janchen, K. Maly, A. Degen, I. Doerfler, E. Formanek, S. Murbeck, G. Beck, T. Georgieff, F. Parlatore, A. Todaro, P. Porta, G. Rigo, E. Levier and others.
The Herbarium of the University of Belgrade has undergone severe temptations from the Pančić’s time to the present. During the turbulent historical events the Herbarium was partly destroyed, and during the World War I part of the herbarium material was alienated by the directive of the occupation authorities and sent to Vienna, Zagreb, Sarajevo and Budapest. A part of the herbarium material was returned after the war.
Despite all, today the Herbarium of the University of Belgrade represents the scientific institution of the highest rank and historical and cultural wealth of the Republic of Serbia. It houses a valuable and inevitable "material for reading and keeping" of the flora and vegetation of the Balkan Peninsula, as well as the material about the efforts of individuals and institutions in the development of botanical science in Serbia.