Specimen databases/barcoding specimens

Deborah A Lewis dlewis at IASTATE.EDU
Mon Aug 28 09:38:40 CDT 2000

Here is a summary of the responses which I received to my query about
specimen databases that were not posted to Taxacom or NHCOLL-L:

Denis Filer <denis.filer at plant-sciences.oxford.ac.uk> and Luc Willemse
<Willemse at nhn.leidenuniv.nl> recommended that we look into BRAHMS --
http://www.brahms.co.uk -- which is especially suitable for handling
barcoding. Luc provided the URL for their online database of type specimens
at the National Herbarium Netherlands, which uses BRAHMS:

Jean-Marc Gagnon <JMGAGNON at mus-nature.ca> told of seeing a demonstration of
MIMS (Museum Information Management System), developed at the Nova Scotia
Museum, at the SPNHC annual meeting. The contact person is Calum Ewing,
phone 902-424-7370 or e-mail at mims at gov.ns.ca.

Ken Walker <KWalker at museum.vic.gov.au> states that, "Our access stats show
that it takes on average 180 data records (or specimens) to answer a single
web based query. This provides justification for why a collection has
replicates of the same taxa - a question I have been asked so many times:
Why do you need more than one specimen of a species?" Ken also provides a
URL illustrating the use of EMu: http://www.museum.vic.gov.au/bioinformatics

A respondent suggested that we check out a program called Quadra Star
Museums (contact person: David Smith, dfs at cuadra.com).

Vincent Robert <robert at kluyver.stm.tudelft.nl> states, "Have a look at this
web site http://www.bio-aware.com/
The BioloMICS suite of programs... allows storage of any type of data
(morphology, physiology, sequences, gels, any images, bibliography,
taxonomic information from strain and form level up to kingdom). Data can
be statistically analysed, classified and published on CDROMs or using the
web version."

And, from Rich White <RWhite at safariclub.org>, "I have begun putting our
collection onto BIOTA. The more I work with it, the better I like it. BIOTA
does all the things I want it to do. Pictures can be linked, but the link
is a little strange. Pictures can't be linked directly to specimens, they
are linked to species records. I haven't found a way around that yet, but I

My thanks again to all who responded! To those whose "personal" replies are
included (hopefully not misquoted) here, I hope you don't mind... I found
your responses helpful, and thought others might also.

Deb Lewis

Deborah Q. Lewis, Curator
Ada Hayden Herbarium (ISC)             E-mail: dlewis at iastate.edu
Department of Botany                        Phone: [1] 515-294-9499
Iowa State University                         FAX:  [1] 515-294-1337
Ames, IA  50011-1020

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