Taxonomic database software for keys and descriptions?

Harvey E. Ballard, Jr. hballard at STUDENTS.WISC.EDU
Thu Jun 20 13:39:58 CDT 1996

Dear Folks:

A fellow taxonomist asked me today about taxonomic databases that manage
data for the production of keys and descriptions and that also permit the
identification of unknowns upon inputting of diagnostic characters.  I've
heard bits and pieces about some possible software but claim almost
complete ignorance about the subject.

In case it might be useful to others to get tidbits regarding useful
(ideally user-friendly and cheap or free) software for this purpose, would
all who have specific knowledge of such please send it forth to the TAXACOM
community?  I will compile responses and (after keeping copies of your
wisdom for myself) forward it to my colleague.

Many thanks for your help, and best wishes,
Harvey Ballard

Harvey E. Ballard, Jr.
Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison
132 Birge, 430 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1381
phone: (608) 262-2792 (Rm. 161, Herbarium); fax: (608) 262-7509
e-mail: hballard at

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