The Allium collection originates from the former Institute for Horticultural Plant Breeding (IVT).The IVT collection existed mainly of onion and leek cultivars collected at Dutch seed firms in the framework of the European Cooperative Programme for Crop Genetic Resources Networks (Van der Meer and Van Bennekom 1983). After adopting this collection, much attention was given to rationalise the collection by bulking duplicates both from onion and leek. This effort resulted in a considerable reduction of the collection (Boukema and De Groot 1991).
The collection was expanded with material collected in a multicrop expedition in Pakistan (Hasmi et al. 1981), material collected in Bulgaria, accessions from multicrop expeditions funded by IPGRI in Egypt, from collecting missions in the framework of the German-Dutch cooperation in Plant Genetic Resources to Turkey, Russia (Daghestan), Armenia and Georgia, from a multicrop collecting expedition to Uzbekistan (Van Soest et al. 1998) and from a collecting mission to Greece in 2009 (Kik 2009), the latter collection being part of the Special Collection of CGN.