Digitization of herbarium specimens involves capturing both digital images of the specimen itself and databasing the data affiliated with each specimen. The Department of Botany, St. Thomas’ College (Autonomous), Thrissur, is in the process of digitizing specimens; that is imaging them, transcribing their labels, and then making these data available online.
The primary objective of storing and providing access to digital images of our collections is to facilitate global access to the collection. Storing high quality images can also aid long-term preservation of the collection by reducing the need for direct handling of the physical specimens.
The study of verified digital specimens for a whole family allows the analysis of taxonomy and variability within existing species in the entire area of their distribution and the production of real maps of the distribution. Data found on the specimen tag can include important reference information such as its geographic origin, date of collection, collector name, plant name, and even ethnobotanical use(s) and local name(s).
The digitization process of the STC herbarium was started on 08 September 2021 with the help of MSc Botany students and Research scholars of department. The workflow of the digitization includes the cleaning and restoration of specimens, adding scale, seal and colour code, barcoding, imaging, data entry, web database development and publishing online. High-quality digital images are taken using Nikon D3500 DSLR and stored as separate files.
The web interface created with Hugo framework, a open source software – High Resolution Images Planning to Host at Wikimedia Commons by Wikimedia Foundation - In Future Curated data will be integrate to GBIF. - Technical supports from KBMN, OpenDataKerala & Saparya Tech.
The digitization project team include Joby Paul (Co-ordinator), Parvathy M.R., Amrutha K.K., Sreeshma P.S., Reshma Rajan, Angel Davis, Anu C. Benny, Jezrin Paulson, Marymol Shajan, Resmi K.R., Athira I., Christy Soosanna P. Kodankandath, Jasmine Sidhi M.S., Jiffy Joseph, Jisha Davis, Vinimol K.V., Megha V.T., Anitha V.D., Gayathri K., Ashna K.A., Arathy K.B., Sourav C.S., Anna C. Chirammel, Helna Nixon, Krishnakripa O.S., Silpa K.T., Aparna Pauly, Athulya Sajeev, Gowtham P.B., Albin Thomas, Sanjay Sudhin, Ashlin Rajesh, Annmary Joyson, Krishnapriya P., Swathy T., Athira V.R., Abiya C. Varghese, Abraham Francis and the web database development by Manoj Karingamadathil & Akshay S Dinesh.