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.
Society of Herbarium Curators at http://www.herbariumcurators.org
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 http://www.spnhc.org/
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 http://nscalliance.org/
Their top-menu links to “Resources” and “Publications” will arm curators with downloadable brochures, factsheets, and government reports on the value of collections.
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES
iDigBio, the new national HUB for biocollections digitization at https://www.idigbio.org/
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 http://digbiocol.wordpress.com/
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).
DIGITIZATION BEST PRACTICES DOCUMENTATION
Excellent herbarium specimen imaging documentation from the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria at http://www.pnwherbaria.org/documentation/specimenimaging.php
Extensive georeferencing resources from VertNet at http://www.herpnet.org/Gazetteer/GeorefResources.htm
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 http://specifysoftware.org/
Darwin Core is a data standard for biodiversity information. Learn all about Darwin Core terms at http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/index.htm
Canadensys, the national hub for Canadian natural history collections at http://www.canadensys.net/
Canadensys has a growing list of best practices documentation under its “Digitization” menu.
SoYouThinkYouCanDigitize at http://soyouthinkyoucandigitize.wordpress.com/
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