A compilation of best practices, references, links, and useful information for TORCH members.

TORCH Data Portal

The TORCH Data Portal provides access to the specimen records of the member herbaria of TORCH.

TORCH TCN Documentation – documents about getting started, image capture, processing, and upload.


Society of Herbarium Curators at
The “Curator’s Toolbox” (left side menu of their page) contains links to numerous topics of interest to curators. Links to join the SHC and HERBARIA listserves are on the lower left side menu.

Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections at
SPNHC publishes the journal Collection Forum as well as books like the highly-recommended Managing the Modern Herbarium (Metzger & Byers 1999). They have a growing list of “How-To” documents that will include best practices.

Natural Science Collections Alliance at
Their top-menu links to “Resources” and “Publications” will arm curators with downloadable brochures, factsheets, and government reports on the value of collections.


iDigBio, the new national HUB for biocollections digitization at
This group is facilitating the creation of a nationwide network for collections digitization, including documenting and sharing best practices for digitization. Their site hosts a growing number of resources as well as the national biocollections portal.

The Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance at
This site provides a link to download the brochure for the 10-year strategic plan for collections digitization, with many use cases on why collection data and images will be so useful.

Update or join Index Herbariorum, the database of all herbaria worldwide:
Confirm that your herbarium record in Index Herbariorum is up to date.
OR, request your herbarium be added to Index Herbariorum.

Add your herbarium to the Biodiversity Collections Index, a growing database of all natural history collections (including herbaria).

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility at
The current top level for shared collections & observations of life. Also, a distribution point for many tools for datasharing.


Excellent herbarium specimen imaging documentation from the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria at

Extensive georeferencing resources from VertNet at
This site includes links to BioGeomancer and GeoLocate, two prominent georeferencing software projects.

Specify collections management software is free and widely-used for databasing institutional collections, see

Darwin Core is a data standard for biodiversity information. Learn all about Darwin Core terms at

Canadensys, the national hub for Canadian natural history collections at
Canadensys has a growing list of best practices documentation under its “Digitization” menu.

SoYouThinkYouCanDigitize at
SYTYCD is a witty and thoughtful blog on topics you will find relevant, if you made it all the way to the bottom of this list.