multiple [collectors]

Don McAllister mcall at SUPERAJE.COM
Sat May 22 17:48:34 CDT 1999

Fred Schueler wrote:

> My understanding of the reason for listing the whole party present when a
> collection was made isn't to distribute credit, but so that a subsequent
> user of the specimen knows whose field notes or recollections may contain
> information that may be relevant to understanding something about the
> circumstances under which the collection was made.
> I agree with Fred.  It is for future information or clarification that the
> collectors names are provided for.  That clarification may be sought a
> number of years later, so it is useful to have as many as will fit on
> labels, forms or computer catalogue systems - in case on cannot be tracked
> down, or has passed away.

If the labels are indeed to tiny to hold all the collectors names, then -
when they are used - additional names may be recorded in catalogues,
catalogue sheets or into computer data bases.  A second choice is the refer
on the label to field note books - when they are accessible.

But computerization is the path to head towards in my view.  Knowledge about
collections is too valuable to be restricted by the label that will fit on a
insect-sized tag.  It is not just a question of collectors names, but exact
location, habitat, weather, collecting method, and many other items
appropriate to the discipline, that should be recorded.
Data can be transferred from field sheets or field notebooks directly into
the computer on return from collecting.  And it has become more and more
practical to carry laptop computer right into the field.  Batteries are
becoming better and car adapters are available for manylaptops.

Don McAlliste

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