At the age of 85, Herman Johannes Lam died at his house on the 15th of February, 1977. From 1933 to 1962 he was director of the Rijksherbarium and although the day of his retirement lies some 15 years behind us now, he is still remembered in our institute for his pleasant personal qualities. The Rijksherbarium as it is today we owe for a large part to his vision and work during the 29 years of his directorate. He broadened the basis of the institute’s research but kept intact its specialization; he succeeded in obtaining valuable collections; he started a programme of botanical expeditions; he provided a home for the Flora Malesiana, to mention some of his accomplishments. When he came to Leiden after a 14 years’ career in the Herbarium at Buitenzorg (now Bogor, Indonesia) he found a small and rather sleepy institute. Through the years of poverty before and during the war, and through the years of prosperity afterwards, he transformed this into a large herbarium which was (and still is, I hope) very much alive and active in many fields.