Welcome to herbaria@home

Welcome to Herbaria@home, a ground-breaking new approach to digitising and documenting the archives of the UK's herbaria. This site provides a web-based method for documenting herbarium sheets. We welcome participation in the project, so please read more about the project and if you would like to help then get involved!



<h3>herbaria@home Sheet Documenting Help</h3>
This help page is based on specimen <a href="http://herbariaunited.org/specimen/362632/">362632</a> originally described as just 'Mentha'.<br>
Collected from his garden by Charles Bailey, it passed via the Botanical Exchange Club of The British Isles to Allan Octavian Hume.<br>
<p>
<table border=1>

<tr><td>
<image src="EGlabel1.jpg" height=200>
<image src="EGlabel2.jpg" height=200>
<image src="EGdetail.jpg" height=200><br>
</td><td>
Labels from the sheet and a detail of the image.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGoldTaxon.jpg"><br>
</td><td>
Original Taxon not giving the detail shown on the labels.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGgetTaxon.jpg"><br>
</td><td>
Changing the Taxon by beginning to type 'gentilis' generates a drop-down list including the Taxon shown on the lables.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGnewTaxon.jpg"><br>
</td><td>
New full Taxon.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGgetCollector.jpg"><br>
</td><td>
Finding the collector, again starting to type 'Bailey' generates a drop-down list including the 'Mr Charles Bailey'.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGcollector.jpg"><br>
</td><td>
Collector completed.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGinfoCollector.jpg"><br>
</td><td>
If more information is required about the collector clicking next to the collector name will give a link to the Collector Page.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGdate.jpg"><br>
</td><td>
Date - note format and beware two-digit dates which may be 1800s or 1900s.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGgetHerb.jpg"><image src="EGgetHerb2.jpg">
</td><td>
Find the Herbaria - two in this case. Clicking in the box generates a drop-down list with A. O. Hume at the top.
Botanical Exchange Club of The British Isles requires some typing.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGherb.jpg">
</td><td>
Herbaria completed.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGgetSite.jpg">
</td><td>
Find the site. Possibilities are Ashfield (a house name, unlikely to be in the Gazetteer), Whalley Range (specific), or Manchester
(less specific). Starting to type 'Whalley' has positive results.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGsite.jpg">
</td><td>
Complete the site by ticking 'cultivated' and adding <i>verbatim</i> detail 'in the garden of Ashfield, Whalley Range, Manchester'
plus the comment '[that of Charles Bailey]' -  the square brackets used here to indicate an addition NOT present on the label
(<a href="#garden">see below</a>).
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGnote.jpg">
</td><td>
Add a note using information from the left-hand label.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGgetFlower.jpg">
</td><td>
Add fruits/flowers status. The left-hand label gives us a clear clue here.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGflower.jpg">
</td><td>
Fruits/flowers status complete.
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
<image src="EGnumber.jpg">
</td><td>
Although not strictly a collectors number that given to the sheet by A. O. Hume is
a reliable feature which can be recorded.
</td></tr>
</table>
<br>
The completed record:<br>
<image src="EGdone.jpg"><br><p><p>
<hr>
<a name="garden"></a>
<h3>Charles Bailey's Garden</h3>


<br><br>
<center>
<table>
<tr><td width=500 align="justify">The 'MEMOIRS AND PROCEEDINGS THE MANCHESTER LITERARY & PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY, Volume XLV. (1900-1901), record an <a href="http://www.archive.org/stream/memoirsandproce20socigoog/memoirsandproce20socigoog_djvu.txt">
Ordinary Meeting</a> in March 1901 of the Microscopical and Natural History Section with Charles Bailey in the chair, at which:<br>
</td></tr>
<tr><td width=500 align="justify">

<i>"Mr Charles Bailey brought a series of examples of a somewhat rare mint, which he had had in cultivation for many years in his garden at Ashfield, Whalley Range, and which Dr.
John Briquet, of Geneva, had recently identified as Mentha gentilis, L., var. Hachenbruchii, Briq."</i>
</td></tr></table></center>





About herbaria@home

The idea of running a distributed project to document was first conceived in late 2005 while I was working in the herbarium at Manchester Museum.  At that time, after a tremendous effort by nearly 100 volunteers working for over a year, we had just finished cataloging Manchester's collection of British rare plants (those listed as at risk in the Red Data Book) on to computer. 

 
I realised that the limitation on documentation was not a lack of enthusiastic, but rather the problem of giving large numbers of volunteers supervised access to the museum's collection, limited numbers of computers and limited space.  It also became apparent that if we continued at the same rate it would take more than 50 years to document the whole of just Manchester's botany collection.

A radically different approach was needed...

In August 2006 the first version of the herbaria@home website was launched, as a small-scale pilot project. We photographed a set of around 2000 specimens (hybrid plants were chosen), and put them on-line. Even with minimal publicity, and with significant problems with the software, over the course over the next two months the specimens where documented. The pilot project showed that it was technically possible to photograph sheets rapidly, that online documentation worked and most importantly that there were able and enthusiastic volunteers who would be prepared to take part.

herbaria@home is supported by the BSBI and the Botanical Collections Managers Group.

For more information please contact Tom Humphrey or Leander Wolstenholme.


Getting Started
To take part as a herbaria@home volunteer all you need is an internet connection, a web browser and a little time which you are willing to spend documenting sheets.

If you haven't already, then please register with us, we just need to know your name and email address so that we can stay in contact with you and keep track of who's doing what...

registration form

Once you have registered, go back to the home page and click the link to be allocated so specimens to document. A new window will open showing a herbarium sheet, with a form below it. It may be help full at this stage to download and print out the tutorial here, to refer to as you work on the sheet.

Documenting specimens


How to document a herbarium specimen

An Example
­­­­­­­

­herbaria@home Sheet Documenting Help

­ ­ ­
This hel­p page is based on specimen 362632 originally described as just 'Mentha'.
­
Collected from his garden by Charles Bailey, it passed via the Botanical Exchange Club of The British Isles to Allan Octavian Hume.


­­

­
Labels fro­m the sheet and a detail of the image.




Ori­­ginal Taxon not giving the detail shown on the labels.

­


Changing the Taxon by beginning to type 'gentilis' generates a drop-down list including the Taxon shown on the labels.




New full Taxon.




Finding the collector, again starting to type 'Bailey' generates a drop-down list including the 'Mr Charles Bailey'.




Collector completed.




If more information is required about the collector clicking next to the collector name will give a link to the Collector Page.




Date - note format and beware two-digit dates which may be 1800s or 1900s.




Find the Herbaria - two in this case. Clicking in the box generates a drop-down list with A. O. Hume at the top.
Botanical Exchange Club of The British Isles requires some typing.



Herbaria completed.



Find the site. Possibilities are Ashfield (a house name, unlikely to be in the Gazetteer), Whalley Range (specific), or Manchester
(less specific). Starting to type 'Whalley' has positive results.
­


Complete the site by ticking 'cultivated' and adding verbatim detail 'in the garden of Ashfield, Whalley Range, Manchester'
plus the comment '[that of Charles Bailey]' -  the square brackets used here to indicate an addition NOT present on the label; see below for Charles Bailey's Garden.



Add a note using information from the left-hand label.

­

Add fruits/flowers status. The left-hand label gives us a clear clue here.



Fruits/flowers status complete.



Although not strictly a collectors number that given to the sheet by A. O. Hume is
a reliable feature which can be recorded.



The completed record:





Charles Bailey's Garden










The 'MEMOIRS AND PROCEEDINGS THE MANCHESTER LITERARY & PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY, Volume XLV. (1900-1901), record an
Ordinary Meeting
in March 1901 of the Microscopical and Natural History Section with Charles Bailey in the chair, at which:



"Mr Charles Bailey brought a series of examples of a somewhat rare mint, which he had had in cultivation for many years in his garden at Ashfield, Whalley Range, and which Dr­.
John Briquet, of Geneva, had recently identified as Mentha gentilis, L., var. Hachenbruchii, Briq."







Buttons
When looking at the data entry form you will notice buttons above and below the image:













PIN BUTTON
Opens image in pop-up
ZOOM + BUTTON
Zooms in
ZOOM - BUTTON
Zooms out
180° BUTTON
Rotates image 180°
90° BUTTON
Rotates image 90°
TAG BUTTON
not in use
TYPE BUTTON
not in use
X BUTTON
Deletes a field
+ BUTTON
Adds a field
… BUTTON
Opens extra fields



Search tools


Specimens

Collectors

Place names

Tracking progress and getting feedback
The news and stats page has a graph showing the number of specimens documented to date and also a table of users' progress. To see your progress click on your name on that list, to show all the specimens you've worked on so far.

If you would like more personal feedback on your work then please make a post on the message board or email support@herbariaathome.org. An easy way to get feedback from message board users is to write a message in the 'user comments' field on the documentation form and to tick the request feedback link on one of your sheets. When the sheet is submitted, a post will automatically be made to the message board.

If you encounter problems or have specific questions then please check the message board, as it's likely someone else will already have asked your question. If you can't find an answer there then post your question on the board. The project organisers and many experienced users regularly check the message board, so you should get a rapid response. Alternatively support@herbariumathome.org will be happy to answer any emails about the project.


Technical support and troubleshooting
This section provides information to assist with problems viewing the website .

System requirements
We recommend that you use a recent web browser version to view our sites. This will ensure that you see the site as it was intended to be viewed.

The use of one of the following browser versions is recommended.

Windows
Firefox 1.4 or later (v1.5 recommended)
Mozilla 1.6 or later
Opera 7.1 or later

Internet explorer 6.1 or later (though v5.5 is largely compatible)
Apple
Firefox 1.4 or later (v1.5 recommended)
recent versions of Safari (we have not tested this, and would appreciate feedback on any problems)
Linux
Firefox 1.4 or later (v1.5 recommended)
Mozilla 1.6 or later

Javascript must be enabled to use herbaria@home.

 

Screen resolution of 1024x768 or greater is recommended.


Problems logging in
If you forget your username or password then we can send you a reminder email. (in the case of passwords, we issue a new password by email - as for security reasons we do not store and cannot retrieve your original password).
Frequently Asked Questions
Has this ever been tried before?
No-one has ever done this with herbarium specimens before, but the concept of distributed projects of this type has a proven track-record.
What will happen to the data?
All the data from the project and the scanned images of specimens will be made freely available to any interested group or individual.
How can I be sure the results will be reliable - does anyone check?
During the pilot scheme the data returned will be closely monitored by museum staff and offered to county recorders. The Herbarium@home system will also have built in checks to validate the data and a small proportion of records (around 1%) will be sent to multiple participants to cross-check results.
Does it matter if I make mistakes?
Of course it would be wonderful if everyone was perfect... But in the real world everyone makes mistakes and the system is designed to cope with that. A proportion of your records will be checked (anonymously) by someone else and even if errors still creep through then they can easily be corrected later, as any user of the data will be able to quickly check a sheet image themselves and correct any errors.
How much time will this take me?
As little or as much as you like. Every contribution is valuable and much appreciated. We hope that our core supporters will spend 20 to 30 minutes a week to document around 5 specimens. The success of the project depends on many people each contributing a little time.
Do I need special software or a fast internet connection to take part?
Everything will work through your usual web browser so no extra software is required. We aim to make the site usable with dial-up net connections, but a faster network connection will allow specimen images to appear more quickly and so may make the site more usable.
Who runs the project?
During this pilot scheme the project will be coordinated by Manchester Museum, but if the Herbarium@home is a success then we hope to operate independently and to collaborate with other institutions, to document their collections.


Message Board


User Preferences and settings

How do I change my settings?
All your settings (if you are registered) are stored in the database. To alter them click the Profile link (generally shown at the top of pages but this may not be the case). This will allow you to change all your settings.
The times are not correct!
The times are almost certainly correct; however, what you may be seeing are times displayed in a timezone different from the one you are in. If this is the case, you should change your profile setting for the timezone to match your particular area, e.g. London, Paris, New York, Sydney, etc. Please note that changing the timezone, like most settings, can only be done by registered users.
Posting Issues

How do I post a topic in a forum?
Click the New Topic button on either the forum or topic screens. You may need to register before you can post a message. The facilities available to you are listed at the bottom of the forum and topic screens (the You can post new topics, You can vote in polls, etc. list)
How do I edit or delete a post?
You can only edit or delete your own posts. You can edit a post by clicking the edit button for the relevant post. If someone has already replied to the post, you will find a small piece of text output below the post when you return to the topic that lists the number of times you edited it. This will only appear if no one has replied; it also will not appear if moderators or administrators edit the post (they should leave a message saying what they altered and why). Please note that normal users cannot delete a post once someone has replied.
How do I add a signature to my post?
To add a signature to a post you must first create one; this is done via your profile. Once created you can check the Add Signature box on the posting form to add your signature. You can also add a signature by default to all your posts by checking the appropriate radio box in your profile. You can still prevent a signature being added to individual posts by un-checking the add signature box on the posting form.
How do I create a poll?
When you post a new topic (or edit the first post of a topic, if you have permission) you should see a Add Poll form below the main posting box. You should enter a title for the poll and then at least two options -- to set an option type in the poll question and click the Add option button. You can also set a time limit for the poll, (0 meaning unlimited).
How do I edit or delete a poll?
As with posts, polls can only be edited by the original poster, a moderator, or board administrator. To edit a poll, click the first post in the topic, which always has the poll associated with it. If no one has cast a vote then users can delete the poll or edit any poll option. However, if people have already placed votes only moderators or administrators can edit or delete it.
Formatting and Topic Types

What is BBCode?
BBCode is similar in style to HTML: tags are enclosed in square braces [ and ] rather than < and > and it offers greater control over what and how something is displayed. For more information on BBCode see the guide which can be accessed from the posting page.
What are Smileys?
Smileys, or Emoticons, are small graphical images which can be used to express some feeling using a short code, e.g. :) means happy, :( means sad. The full list of emoticons can be seen via the posting form. Try not to overuse smileys, though, as they can quickly render a post unreadable and a moderator may decide to edit them out or remove the post altogether.
How can I post images?
Images can be shown in your posts. However, there is no facility at present for uploading images directly to this board. Therefore you must link to an image stored on a publicly accessible web server, e.g. http://www.some-unknown-place.net/my-picture.gif. You cannot link to pictures stored on your own PC (unless it is a publicly accessible server) nor to images stored behind authentication mechanisms such as Hotmail or Yahoo mailboxes, password-protected sites, etc. To display the image use either the BBCode [img] tag or appropriate HTML (if allowed).

Users with admin access to HerbariaUnited can use the image upload option on the admin menu.


phpBB 2 Issues
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Who wrote this bulletin board?
This software (in its unmodified form) is produced, released and is copyrighted phpBB Group. It is made available under the GNU General Public License and may be freely distributed; see link for more details.
Why isn't X feature available?
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Whom do I contact about abusive and/or legal matters related to
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