From the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA):
Federal agencies act as custodians of hundreds of diverse scientific collections that contain everything from plant and animal specimens, tissues, and DNA to microbes, minerals, and moonrocks. These collections are part of the country’s science infrastructure, and support work in fields that include public health and safety, agriculture, trade, homeland security, medical research, trade, and environmental monitoring.
Agencies have been working to improve access to information about these collections and expand opportunities for their use.
Now, through a joint effort between the USDA and Smithsonian Institution, an Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections (IWGSC) has been cataloging them in a newly established Registry of U.S. Federal Scientific Collections (USFSC) managed by the Smithsonian.
This registry provides unprecedented access to information about more than 125 scientific collections managed by more than 475 Federal institutions. Agencies will continue to add collections to the registry over the coming months. Scores of them are maintained by USDA, while others maintained by other agencies provide access to information that is quite useful to people involved in food and farming issues.
See Also: USFSC Data Download and Web Services