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Abstract Detail

Historical Section

Diazgranados, Mauricio [1], Avila, Fabio [1], Funk, Vicki [1].

Connecting content of historical collections and archives: the José Cuatrecasas’ botanical expeditions in Northern South America.

Museums and herbaria hold invaluable historical collections and archives, including biological specimens, journals of expeditions, photographs, illustrations and maps. In this era of digital information various collections and archives have been databased and digitalized. However, the information from the different sources is seldom interconnected. We highlight the importance of connecting content to strengthen collections and facilitate research. The Cuatrecasas’ collections and archives provide an outstanding opportunity to develop a strategy to connect information between different sources of information present in herbaria, making it available to the general public and the scientific community. José Cuatrecasas (1903-1996) is considered one of the greatest explorers and scientists of the New World. He gave his life to the study of the tropical flora of South America and published 262 papers, including more than 3,300 new taxon names. In his 25 journals and 12 notebooks, he described day-a-day his expeditions with exquisite detail. The National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution holds the most important collection of plant specimens, journals, photographs and maps of Cuatrecasas. Since 2005 we have already scanned more than 8,000 of his photographs, and transcribed and translated more than 900 pages from his journals. All his photographs of live plants corresponding to type specimens and topolocalities are being identified. The topolocalities are being carefully geo-referenced, and the current taxonomic status for each type name is being verified. Information in his journals related to the type’s collection event is being transcribed (in Spanish) and translated (into English). A database connecting all the associate information units is being created, in conjunction with the Electronic Museum Management System (EMu) database. Finally, a user-friendly web-base tool for connecting content dynamically is being developed. The expectation is that any user will be able to access any piece of connected information from a map, from a gallery of photographs, from a list of species names or collected specimens, from a page in the online Cuatrecasas’ expedition journal, or from a record in EMu.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Smithsonian Institution, DEPT OF BOTANY-NHB 166, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC, 20013-7012, USA

connecting content

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 9
Location: Newberry/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 9002
Abstract ID:482
Candidate for Awards:Emanuel D. Rudolph Award

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