The William and Lynda Steere Herbarium
The New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd
The William and Lynda Steere Herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is the foundation of the Garden's botanical research program. Containing more than 7.2 million specimens, it is the fourth largest in the world, the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The Steere herbarium is one of the most frequently used of the approximately 3000 herbaria in the world. The Herbarium is consulted the nearly 200 research projects of Garden scientists and students and, and an average of 150 visitors travel to New York each year to use the collection, spending on average 1200 person-days per year. Additionally, 30,000 to 50,000 specimens are loaned annually to scientists at other institutions.
We are in the process of cataloging and imaging our specimen holdings, which focus on the New World, on NYBG research, and on national and international projects where access to data from our collections will have a significant impact. The goals of the Virtual Herbarium are to make specimen data available electronically for use in biodiversity research projects; to reduce shipping of actual specimens for projects where digital representations will suffice for study; and to reunite data elements (e.g., photographs and drawings, manuscripts, published works, microscopic preparations, gene sequences) derived from a specimen with the catalog record for that specimen.
A training program for imaging specimens includes working with 21 MP DSLR camera, macro lens, copy stand, and Photo-ebox for even illumination. Data entry training involves several sessions working in the Symbiota software web portal.
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