Collection Numbers

Susan B. Farmer sfarmer at GOLDSWORD.COM
Mon May 24 11:24:45 CDT 1999

I'm only a lowly graduate student, but I think that y'all are arguing
over apples versus oranges.  I believe that we're talking about
multiple numbers as if they were all the same number.

The collection number on the label is the number that the individual
(or group) collector assigns to that specimin.  Doesn't really matter
if it's sequential, random, or coded by date, trip, and phase
of the moon.  It's the *collector's* number.

There may also be an accession number assigned by the herbarium to
indicate when/in what order the specimin was added to the herbarium
collection.  This number may again be completely sequential or
sequential by date.

Now, with the advent of Computer Databasing Software, there is the
possibility of a 3rd number identifying the specimin -- and that is
the identification number/code that the computer assigns to it --
sometimes with your (the users) help, and sometimes without.
A good program, IMHO, should allow you to track all three numbers.

Susan Farmer, programer and botanist
sfarmer at

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