We are very excited to announce our next set of herbarium images!
These specimens come from Southeastern Louisiana University located in the southeastern United States. Wow, that’s really southeastern! Southeastern Louisiana University is a medium sized university which has an herbarium housed in its Biology department. These kinds of small to medium sized collections are fairly common around the southeastern United States. The SERNEC project has estimated there to be over 230 others! We are actively working to get them all digitized so that the data can be made available to anyone that wishes to use it.
One thing that is unique about this set of images is that it contains almost every specimen housed in this collection. That means that once this set of images is transcribed the whole collection will be digitized.
Small collections such as this one play a critical role in the documentation of biodiversity. Most small to medium sized museum collections house specimens primarily from their local area, since this is the most common place that curators and students go to collect. This means that each of these small collections makes a unique contribution to our knowledge of the local biodiversity by filling in important gaps.
The region where this collection is located is also one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the United States and is home to nearly 3,000 species of native plants.
This is great to see and I will get back on with it… but I wish the images had been at a slightly higher resolution. They break up a bit too soon to see some details of handwriting easily, and I wonder whether this suggests that you don’t see quite enough up-close details of specimens either. Something to consider for the next round of digitization?