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The IAN Herbarium was established in 1945 to support botanical studies in the former Instituto Agronômico do Norte (IAN), on the flora of the Amazon region. It was indexed with the acronym IAN internationally, initially being organized under the guidance of researchers João Murça Pires and William Andrew Archer. In addition to these organizers, renowned botanists such as Adolpho Ducke, George Black, Humberto Marino Koury, Normélia Vasconcelos, Paulo Cavalcante, Paul Ledoux, Ricardo Froes, among others, have provided invaluable support to the IAN Herbarium.

Since 2005, the herbarium is accredited under the custody of the Board of Management of Genetic Patrimony (CGEN), Ministry of Environment in Brazil. Currently, it has a collection of 190,000 dried specimens.

Its mandate is to generate knowledge and contribute to the management and conservation of Amazonian flora as well as disseminating information about the plants of this region. The scientific collections, which have been cataloged for more than 60 years constitute a valuable source of information and documentation on the Amazon thus providing valuable support to biodiversity research , helping with forest management and conservation.