Biological Collections via gophers

Scott Miller scottm at BISHOP.BISHOP.HAWAII.ORG
Tue Mar 8 15:25:12 CST 1994

The following was prepared at request of the Pacific Science Association,
but it may be of more general interest...

        Biological collections databases available on Internet

        Internet  provides unparalleled opportunities to make  data  from
        museum collections available (e.g., Miller, 1993, Bull. Ent. Res.
        83: 471-474).  Gopher servers have become popular interfaces  for
        databases of many kinds.  Museum collection data are only  begin-
        ning  to  become available.  The following  list  includes  those
        collections  databases  known to me in March 1994.  The  list  is
        probably incomplete and will hopefully be out-of-date soon.

        All  these  databases  may be reached via  the  Biodiversity  and
        biological collections gopher at Harvard University, or via other
        gophers, some of which are listed below (except the U.S. National
        Fungus  collection,  available only via telnet).  This  list  in-
        cludes  only  databases  dealing with specimen  data,  not  those
        dealing  primarily with taxonomic or other data.  Sizes of  data-
        bases  refer  to approximate number of records; in some  cases  a
        record includes more than one specimen (e.g., a lot).  A database
        is  considered complete if it includes all the records  available
        for the category suggested by the title.  These databases include
        over 2 million records already and are growing rapidly.

        SUBJECT                                        SIZE      COMPLETE

        Aust. Nat. Bot. Garden herbarium              160,000        no
        Univ. Texas Herbarium types                     4,000        yes
        Harvard Univ. Herbarium types                  30,000        no
        Arnold Arboretum living collection              5,000        yes
        Farlow Herbarium diatom exsiccatae             13,000        no
        Calif. Acad. Sci. Herbarium types               9,000        yes
        Smithsonian plant types                        88,000        yes
        Australian plant specimens (ERIN database)    800,000        no
        U.S. National Fungus Collection (USDA)        550,000        no


        Australian animal specimens (ERIN database)    50,000        no
        Boulder County, Colorado insects               26,000        no
        Museum of Comparative Zoology insect types     15,000        no
        Museum Comp. Zoology Microlepidoptera types       600        yes
        Museum of Comparative Zoology spider types          ?        yes
        Univ. Calif. Mus. Paleo. invertebrate types    11,000        yes
        Univ. Calif. Mus. Paleo. microfossil types          ?        no


        Cornell University fish collection             70,000        ?
        Museum of Comparative Zoology fish types        2,500        no
        Univ. Texas Austin fish                        22,000        ?
        Univ. Calif. Mus. Paleo. vertebrate types       7,800        yes
        Slater Museum birds                            20,000        yes
        Neotropical fish collections (NEODAT Project) 280,000        no


        Australian Nat. Botanic Garden 70
        Biodiversity gopher at Harvard 70
        Environmental Resources Info. Network 70
        NEODAT Project (Neotropical fish) 70
        Smithsonian Institution        70
        Univ. Calif. Museum Paleontology 70
        Univ. Colorado                 70


        U.S. National Fungus Collection
             access with "login user" and "user"


        Scott Miller, Bishop Museum, Box 19000-A, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817,
        USA; scottm at

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