E.D.P. in Major Herbaria — The Priorities

  • J. P. M. Brenan


Most herbaria have not introduced E.D.P. methods. It is essential for their advantages and disadvantages to be carefully assessed. An attempt is made to do this with particular reference to the Kew Herbarium. An account is given of the Kew Herbarium and its arrangement. Most herbarium arrangements permit of a more or less efficient information retrieval system to be operated by conventional means and within limits. It is doubtful whether any major herbarium can afford to computerise all its holdings, or whether the result will be worth it. Some suggestions for priorities are given based on needs at Kew. These may be summarised as follows:
  1. 1.

    Inventory of type material

  2. 2.

    Inventories of specimens and geographical areas of outstanding conservation importance

  3. 3.

    Listing of economic uses

  4. 4.

    Listing of vernacular names

  5. 5.

    Recording of vouchers for non-taxonomic research

  6. 6.

    Limited recording of specimens in defined areas, systematic or geographical, of special research interest to Kew

  7. 7.

    Listing of genera and species with their geographical ranges

  8. 8.

    Comprehensive listing of genera and their position under families



Information Retrieval British Museum Royal Botanic Garden British Antarctic Survey Limited Recording 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. Brenan, J.P. M. & Carter R.G. (1972). The counting of the Kew Herbarium. Kew Bull. 26: 423–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  4. Shetler, Stanwyn G. (1969). The herbarium, past, present, and future. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 82: 687–758 Google Scholar
  5. Squires, Donald F. (1971). Implications of data processing for museums. Cutbill, J. L., Data Processing in Biology and Geology: 235–253Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, London 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. M. Brenan
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Botanic GardensKewEngland

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