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David A. Kribs
Wood Collection

Forest Products Lab, Bldg. 5, 2F

201 Locksley Way

Starkville, MS 39759 

Free viewings by appointment only:

Monday through Friday --  9:00am to 4:00pm

Saturday & Sunday -- Closed

Origin: 1925
Penn State University

In the Beginning

The David A. Kribs Xylarium (PACw) was founded in 1925 at the Pennsylvania State University. The earliest specimens were duplicates of material from peer institutions, in particular the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago (Fw; later merged into the MADw collection at the USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin), Yale’s Record Collection (Yw; later renamed SJRw, also at the USDA Forest Products Laboratory), and Harvard’s xylarium (Aw).

Penn State University

Main Entrance of Old Main at Penn State University, George Chriss


Dr. David A. Kribs
1930s - 1960s

Contribution of Its Namesake

In 1931, Dr. David A. Kribs started working at Penn State as a botany instructor. He became an assistant professor in 1937, around which time he began collecting material for his book Commercial Foreign Woods on the American Market, first published in 1950. It was during this period that most of the tropical American and African species were acquired. In 1957, when Kribs was the curator, the collection held approximately 10,000 specimens of 2,000 genera. 

Dr. David A. Kribs

Pittsburg Press, November 29, 1953

Dr. Elisabeth Wheeler
NC State University
1970s - 2020

Relocating to North Carolina

By 1978, the collection already belonged to the School of Forest Resources at North Carolina State University. There it was renamed in honor of its main contributor: the David A. Kribs Wood Collection (PACw). Over the past 50 years, the collection has been used for wood anatomy research leading to the publication of many scholarly articles. The most notable work is InsideWood, an online, interactive, multi-entry wood identification key for worldwide hardwoods and softwoods (over 7900 species) developed by Dr. Elisabeth Wheeler and used daily by researchers and practitioners across the world. InsideWood also includes a database of more than 58,000 macro- and microscopic images.

Dr. Elisabeth Wheeler

North Carolina State University. Student Media

Mississippi State University
2020 - present

A New Home, A New Era

In 2020, the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts in the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University acquired the Kribs collection. A hand inventory of the collection is currently in progress and is, at present, approximately 75% complete. The xylarium has already contributed to forensic research involving computer vision wood identification technology to combat illegal logging. It currently includes species from North, Central, and South America, the Philippines, and the west coast of Africa, featuring important families and genera listed in CITES Appendices I, II, and III. 

Mississippi State University
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