photocopying, scanning herbarium sheets

James macklin macklin at ACNATSCI.ORG
Fri Oct 4 10:29:29 CDT 2002

I have taken a liking to our library's overhead scanner/photocopier used to image old books (especially oversized) as to minimize damage to the spine. The output goes to a laser printer which takes 11x17 paper. Thus, there is no need to flip the specimen at all. Of course this luxury is not cheap -$20,000 to 25,000 US! Check it out on Minolta's site

While I am at it, I can also respond to the type specimen loan vs. image thread. We do not lend type specimens on the first request. I typically take a medium resolution photo of the sheet with my digital camera and a closeup of the label and send it to the interested researcher. If they decide that a high resolution image will provide all the answers they seek then I shoot the sheet again using our Phase One FX digital imaging system. Again, the Phase One is a luxury item with a price tag of $50,000 US! I burn the 80 Meg images to CD and send them to the researcher with an offer to score characters that may not be easily observable. After a year or so, I have not had to send out a single type specimen (or historically significant specimen) on loan.



James Macklin Ph. D.
Collection Manager
The Academy of Natural Sciences
Biodiversity Research Group
Botany Department
1900 Ben Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA  19103-1195
Phone: (215) 405-5088
email: macklin at 

>>> Richard Jensen <rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU> 10/4/2002 11:38:30 AM >>>
The way we (Barbara Hellenthal and I) do it here is to place a clean
piece of glass over the specimen before turning it upside down.  This
keeps the specimen intact and allows a good copy to be made.

"Steven R. Manchester" wrote:

> >More than one botanist I know has taken to calling such photocopied
> >(the 11" x 17" paper is conveniently about the same size as a
> >standard herbarium sheets) or scanned-and-printed images "xerotypes"
> >or "xeroxtypes." Monique Reed
> I was taught never to turn an herbarium specimen upside down due to
> the damage from pieces that will fall away from the sheet.  How does
> one prepare photocopies or scans of herbarium sheets without causing
> more damage than would have occurred by actually loaning the
> specimens?
> --
> Dr. Steven R. Manchester
> Curator of Paleobotany
> Florida Museum of Natural History
> Dickinson Hall PO 117800
> Museum Road and Newell Drive
> University of Florida
> Gainesville FL  32611-7800
> Ph 352 392 1721 ex 495
> Fax 352 846 0287

Richard J. Jensen              TEL: 574-284-4674
Department of Biology      FAX: 574-284-4716
Saint Mary's College         E-mail: rjensen at 
Notre Dame, IN  46556

More information about the Taxacom mailing list