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Preserving and Digitizing Plant Images:

Linking Plant Images and Databases for Public Access

Completed November 2000


The Missouri Botanical Garden proposes to develop a database of plant images linked to associated database records and make it available through the World Wide Web. This project will have two major results:

1. A repository for scientifically identified plant images linked to information about each plant species.
Plant images with associated data will be available on the Garden's web site, from which the image and data can be downloaded. A copy of the associated slide will be available from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

2. A repository to which other botanical organizations can add their plant images.
The Garden will continue adding images to this repository, as well as allow the addition of professionally generated images from other institutions.

The images for this project will come from two sources:

1. Existing slide collections of Garden Botanists.
An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 slides from the collections of Alwyn Gentry, Ph.D., Thomas Croat, Ph.D., and Peter Goldblatt, Ph.D. will be preserved and digitized suring the two years of this project.

2. Slides of type specimens taken as part of this project. An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 of these slides will be taken, preserved, and digitized as part of this project.

This centralized source of plant images will serve botanical researchers, as well as anyone with a need for correctly identified plant images linked to authoritative information. Time and travel expenses for visiting botanical gardens will be saved because researchers will have Web access to answer many of their questions.

The slide collections will be preserved through accepted preservation practices. The digital images will be preserved as part of the Garden's ongoing commitment to the maintenance and accessibility of its many databases.

This two-year project will be carried out with the assistance of three technicians under the supervision of Garden staff. The project will use Garden staff expertise to build upon proven methods and technologies. The result will be an expandable plant images database available for institutional and public use.

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If you have questions about this site, contact Doug Holland, Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299