Herbarium databases

Ted Oliver olivert at NBICT.NBI.AC.ZA
Mon Jun 2 08:46:39 CDT 1997

Dear Colleagues

Our institute has a herbarium management system covering the 760 000
collections  of southern African plants in the National Herbarium,
Pretoria (PRE) [PRECIS--the PRE Computerized Information
System] originally setup up on a Burroughs mainframe downtown, but
later changed to an in-house server using Oracle software and
developed by our own staff..

We have, however, just developed another package using Access
(within the Microsoft Office package) to do all the main tasks for
all the herbaria (small to large) in southern Africa to link into the
PRECIS system.  Some of the herbaria are fairly large with
collections  up to 500 000 sheets (SRGH in Harare, NBG in Cape Town).
 The current initiative is running under the banner of the Southern
African Botanical diversity NETWork (SABONET) recently set up using
international funding.  Training programmes in computerisation and
use of the Access package are under way at present in Pretoria  for
staff of the national herbaria north of our borders. The Access
package includes the database to the 24 500 taxa in southern
Africa (south of Kunene & Limpopo Rivers) and a locality database of
all place names used so far in South Africa for 'quick lookup'; these
will eventually be expanded to include tropical taxa and localities.

For more information on the Access package and PRECIS contact Trevor
Arnold in Pretoria: - tha at nbipre.nbi.ac.za.

For more information on the SABONET initiative contact the project
coordinator, Christopher Willis, in Pretoria: - ckw at nbipre.nbi.ac.za.

Cheers -- Ted

E.G.H. `Ted' OLIVER  (Mr)
Compton Herbarium
National Botanical Institute, Kirstenbosch
olivert at nbict.nbi.ac.za   fax: +27-21-7614151

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