Systematics Section / ASPT
Barkworth, Mary .
Reflections on twenty-six years of databasing in a regional herbarium.
The Intermountain Herbarium first attempted specimen databasing in 1988. We have used four different systems and three different programs (Advanced Revelation, Alpha Software, and Access). Two of the systems were designed in-house, two by others. All have enabled us to respond to requests for distributional information; all have been capable of generating labels; all have included protection against mistyping names. In my opinion, an essential feature of any system is that it be possible to modify it, and seek to correct problems encountered, using local talent. Other features that I would look for include the ability to add scientific names to the lookup tables, the efficient generation of labels and reports, fields for recording substrate, the reference used for identification, and multiple forms of geographic data. In choosing a database, the primary concern should be what works best for a given institution, given the resources available. This last is an important restriction for few regional herbaria have access to ongoing increased funding for maintenance of our IT facilities – of which the herbarium database is likely to be just one. Databasing is not cheap, but it enables us to help each other in ways that were not possible before. It also provides insight into the collection and generates numbers that can be used in annual reports.
1 - Utah State University, Intermountain Herbarium, Dept. of Biology, 5305 Old Main Hill, Logan, Utah, 84322-5305, U.S.A.
Presentation Type: Paper
Location: Cottonwood A (Snowbird Center)
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2004
Time: 4:45 PM