Research Databases

Access to collection label data of South American Andean plants within an integrated database management system provides improved access to the collections on which much taxonomic work on Andean flora is based. As the following article illustrates, our databases facilitate research and information-sharing, and greatly increase the efficiency of standard herbarium operations such as the generation of specimen labels, annotation labels, and determination lists.

At the Field Museum, we have been databasing our incoming Peruvian and project related material for several years using an IBM PC, and dBase® (Version IV for DOS or V for WINDOWS) database software in tandem with WordPerfect® (Version 5.1 for DOS or 6 for WINDOWS). The specimen-label information from over 7500 collections from coastal Chile and Peru have been electronically captured and are available in checklists. A comparable database project, DETBASE, contains over 10,000 collections from northern Peru (Departments Amazonas, Ancash, Cajamarca, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, San Martín). These databases serve a wide variety of functions ranging from generation of herbarium specimen labels to generating checklists, exsiccatae, and statistics.

Checklists generated from LOMAFLOR and DETBASE may be found in the Environments section. The following publication describes the database system developed at the Field Museum and shared with our research colleagues in Peru:

by Nancy Hensold

English Version

Spanish Version

European Negatives

The Field Museum houses an extensive collection of South American phanerogam type photographs. For a decade beginning in 1929, the Field Museum's J. Francis Macbride visited all the major herbaria of the European continent (B,C, G, HAN, HBG, MA, P, and W) and his efforts resulted in quality photographs of over 40,000 types and historically important sheets, most of which were South American in origin. These photographs were made available to American botanists unable to visit European herbaria. The importance of this collection is notable since it includes records from herbaria damaged or destroyed during World War II. In conjunction with a monographic study of the Nolana, a sampling of these black and white images have been scanned and associated with the updated database records, including additional label information and annotation history.

Examples of Macbride's European type photos may be viewed the Families section, under genus Nolana.


Michael O. Dillon
Curator of Phanerogams
The Field Museum

[Environments] [Plant Families] [Publications] [J. Francis Macbride & Flora of Peru Series]
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