Critic's Choice Essay: Virtual Herbaria Come of Age

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Wayne Elisens


(First paragraph of article.)

These are exciting times for natural history collections. An international effort is underway to make images and data of biological specimens available in electronic format via digitization. These initiatives are an effort to bring natural history collections out of the dark of museum and herbarium cabinets and into the light of public access for use by stakeholders in government, academia, biodiversity organizations, business, and K-12 education. The democratization of information contained in natural history collections through images and online databases is an important new development to better investigate our natural world and solve important social and environmental problems (Scoble 2010).

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Author Biography

Wayne Elisens, University of Oklahoma Oklahoma Native Plant Society

Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology

Oklahoma Biological Survey