Australian National Herbarium (Program HC)
Australian National Herbarium Specimen Information Register (ANHSIR)
Program Leaders: Jim Croft, Brendan Lepschi
The Australian National Herbarium Specimen Information Register (ANHSIR) database holds collection details, specimen attributes and determination (identification) histories for preserved plant specimens held at CANB (e.g. pressed specimens on sheets, collections in spirit, dried cryptogams in packets and boxes). Each item has a unique accession number. ANHSIR is part of the Integrated Biodiversity Information System (IBIS) which also includes electronic records of the Australian Plant Image Index (photograph collection) and living plant collection at the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG).
Collection details on ANHSIR have been digitised from existing specimen labels dating back to 1770, from field notes in the case of more recent accessions, and from electronic data provided with duplicate specimens from other herbaria. Data entry of specimen details commenced in the 1980’s, accelerated between 2001 and 2008 due to resources provided by the Australia’s Virtual Herbarium (AVH) project, and is still continuing steadily as donated and foreign specimens are added to the database. Around 850,000 specimens or 76% of the entire herbarium collection is represented on ANHSIR (as at June 2011), including virtually all of the Australian vascular collection. Entry and validation of data is ongoing. Data fields include:
- accession number
- collector identity and number
- collection date
- latitude and longitude
- notes on plant features
- plant name
For a more comprehensive list, see http://www.cpbr.gov.au/cgi-bin/anhsir from which most of the data is publicly accessible. Access to detailed locality and geographic data is restricted.
ANHSIR may be queried to provide lists of specimens and their details for particular taxa or collectors, for geographic regions, by collection date, by type status and in other ways, and is an extremely useful tool for collections management and as a starting point for botanical inventories of particular geographic areas. Among the other uses of ANHSIR are production of CANB specimen labels, management of out-going loans, and the provision of data to assist research into environmental change and weed invasion. Geographic data from ANHSIR and the specimen databases of the major Australian state and territory herbaria feeds into the publicly accessible AVH on-line mapping facility at http://www.chah.gov.au/avh/ allowing rapid preparation of distribution maps based on scientifically verifiable voucher specimens, for Australian plant species. Output from the APNI and APC projects is being used to ensure correctness and currency of plant names.
The ANHSIR team welcomes corrections or feedback on the project and its constituent data via: firstname.lastname@example.org
Access to those parts of ANHSIR requiring user-name and password is provided for non-commercial research only; see http://www.cpbr.gov.au/cpbr/databases. Access accounts are provided where ongoing or intermittent use is envisaged over a period of time. For specific data requests referring to selected taxa, a data dump (in Excel) is provided.