Virtually all herbarium collections are behind on filing, unless they aren't collecting anything at all. This semester TPP has a class of warm bodies and the idea is to get them active and doing something useful. Like a lot of things, they best way to learn about herbarium curating is to do it. So students start by mounting and filing specimens, and this is no problem in terms of finding them materials to work on because TPP is more than a little behind. This is a massive problem inherited from a predecessor who sort of let things pile up, but TPP is less behind now than when he obtained control the whole collection. So today TPP was checking accuracy of species names for a pile of old specimens that had been remounted to get rid of old deteriorating paper. So how far behind is TPP? Well, let's see these specimens were collected from '45 to '67, but not 1945 to 1967, no, 1845 to 1867. Now that's not too bad, just 150 to 170 years behind. Actually this is a bit strange because mostly the backlog of specimens is from just 50-60 years ago, but for some reason these were set aside and ignored, for a long, long time. Part of the problem is that many people cannot read the handwritten labels, but it's not impossible, so why these specimens were set aside so long ago remains a puzzle. These were all exchange specimens, specimens that our institution obtained from Europe by trading with colleagues, so maybe they just weren't considered very important. Nonetheless the students are strangely impressed by the age of these specimens and the idea that they are working on something with a bit of history to it, that they are contributing to something that is expected to last for awhile barring some catastrophe like a water leak or a fire.