Collection numbers

Joseph Kirkbride jkirkbri at ASRR.ARSUSDA.GOV
Mon May 24 12:14:15 CDT 1999

This is getting confusing with two Joes involved!  I believe that
collection citation should include the date of collection, the names of
all the collectors, primary and secondary, all the collection numbers,
and of course the location data.  I never intended to suggest that the
date be rolled into the collection number, unless the collectors did it

In Brasilian collections, I have found as many as three collection
numbers appearing on the same collection.  Each collector or some of the
collectors use their individual numbers.  Then depending on which
institution distributes which duplicate, the same collection can appear
with two or three different numbers.  The other data is then key to
combining these collections together, and sometimes the duplicates will
appear with various combinations of the numbers verifying your conclusions.

Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr.
USDA, Agricultural Research Service
Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory
Room 304, Building 011A, BARC-West
Beltsville, Maryland 20705-2350 USA
Voice telephone: 301-504-9447
FAX: 301-504-5810
Internet: jkirkbri at

On Sun, 23 May 1999, Stinger wrote:

> Wasn't Joe suggesting that the date be included in literature citation WITH the
> collection number - not IN it?
>         Joe,
>             I completely disagree with you statement:
>      Besides, one can easily solve that problem by including
>      the date in the number. Give the plant the collection
>      number "23059924" meaning it is the 24th specimen you
>      collected on 23 May 1999. Totally unambiguous, unless you
>      are in botany for over 100 years.
>         This is about the worst possible use of collection numbers. Why
>      have to
>      enter 8 digits and create more errors when you only need 4-5. The date
>      is on
>      the label anyway.
>      In our computer databases I can order collections by real collection
>      numbers
>      and check for entry errors and also get the collector's itinerary.
>      This
>      won't work with the date included in the number.
>      Cliff Wetmore
>      Univ. of Minnesota
>      --
> Gerald "Stinger" Guala, Ph.D.
> Keeper and Curator of the Herbarium
> Systematist
> Fairchild Tropical Garden
> 11935 Old Cutler Rd.
> Miami, FL 33156

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