New Online Herbarium Available at University Libraries
July 29, 2010
Categories: Inside UNM
JSTOR Plant Science is an amazing new resource. It's basically an online meta-herbarium. For the non-botanists among us, that's basically a dead plant museum. But online! And really super cool! Institutions around the world have contributed digitized specimens, and there's a great deal of linking information like botanical drawings and photographs. It's a fantastic resource for botanists, ecologists, taxonomists, biogeographers, and anyone who enjoys plants.
Herbarium specimens, like zoological specimens, are important because they link a place to an organism. This information can be used to map out probable geographic distribution of a plant or animal. Searching for specimens common to a certain place can even help a researcher understand how a local environment has changed over time. Additionally, you can find holotypes - original specimens designated to be a referenced "type" to describe a species. A holotype is designated by the first person to publish a name, classification, and descriptive account of a plant.
By 2013, JSTOR expects to have over 2.2 million plant specimens available, making JSTOR Plant Science the largest collection of its kind in the world. These materials are now truly global in scope representing over 160 partners in 47 countries on 5 continents.
Check it out - you can search by a particular plant, or by place, or even by botanist. There are some very old specimens in this digital collection as well as some more recent items. For help with this great JSTOR database contact Anne Schultz at: email@example.com.