Herbarium database software

Harvey E. Ballard, Jr. hballard at STUDENTS.WISC.EDU
Fri May 30 11:00:34 CDT 1997

While I cannot answer about a specifically developed, CHEAP and=
 USER-FRIENDLY software program, especially Mac-based, I've recently=
 converted my terribly clunky and inflexible databases, including some for=
 tracking nomenclature and type specimens (totaling ca. 1400 records) and=
 several for herbarium specimen data (totaling ca. 15,000 records) to=
 FileMaker Pro by Claris. The software with educational discount was $99.=
 It's extremely easy to use to develop a truly user-friendly database, it=
 stores images or movies, etc. as records, too, and it hasn't the character=
 limit per record that dBASE had. One can make formats in any way desirable=
 with little effort, and that includes formats for output (printing or=
 what-have-you). It accepts all the special characters, including foreign=
 language characters, that Word or Wordperfect do, as well as italics,=
 underlines and other special formatting features.  It's been GREAT to work=
 with.  I've been able to spit out (figuratively speaking) subsets of the=
 specimen data, like altitudes or month/day for flowering specimens, which I=
 record from herbarium specimens, and import the text file into Excel to get=
 histograms for elevation and phenology for species.

At any rate, if you haven't the money to invest in a software system that's=
 fully developed but want an eminently usable and flexible software with=
 which you can easily develop your own program(s) to meet your needs, I=
 recommend Filemaker Pro very highly.

My best,
Harvey Ballard

Harvey E. Ballard, Jr.
Postdoctoral Researcher, USDA-ARS, Potato Systematics Labs
1575 Horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison WI 53706
PHONE: (608) 262-0159; FAX: (608) 262-4743
Honorary Fellow, University of Wisconsin Herbarium
Botany Department
132 Birge, 430 Lincoln Drive
Madison WI 53706
PHONE: (608) 262-2792; FAX: (608) 262-7509

Assistant Professor
Department of Environmental and Plant Biology
Porter Hall
Ohio University
Athens OH 45701-2979
PHONE: (614) 593-1128; FAX: (614) 593-1130
E-MAIL [probably]: not yet known

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