History and Computerization of the Kent State University Herbarium
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v94, n1 (March, 1994), 24-28
Herbarium specimens are useful resources in documenting the botanical component of the earth's biological diversity. The Kent State University Herbarium (KE) contains 63,000 specimens of vascular plants. Ohio specimens, most collected since I960, constitute 80% of the total. The herbarium is currently being computerized in order to facilitate retrieval of information from the specimens and from their labels and to realize other advantages in herbarium-related work. Specimen data are being stored in a computer information retrieval system using dBASE HI PLUS. The data are assembled in individual family database files, each file record comprising 24 fields of information. A program has been designed so that the printout of the fields resembles an herbarium specimen label. At present, data for all the pteridophytes, gymnosperms, and monocotyledons have been entered into 63 family files. When computerization of the dicotyledons is completed later in the decade, the database will consist of ca. 220 family files. The database provides an itemized inventory of the collection as well as ready, organized data for a variety of research areas, especially those focused on environmental change and on the preservation of biological diversity.
Author Institution: Department of Biological Sciences, Kent State University
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