Plant Anatomy Digital Archive Documentation
The Swingle Plant Anatomy Database
In 1954, a catalog to the entire Swingle Plant Anatomy Reference Collection was prepared by Frank D. Venning, a former undergraduate and later Research Assistant Professor at the University of Miami. Fortunately, this catalog was stored with the collection of microscope slides. The entire contents of the catalog have been transcribed into a downloadable excel spreadsheet, The Swingle Plant Anatomy Reference Data, with some taxonomic information added. An explanation of the fields in this spreadsheet is given in the Plant Anatomy Data Dictionary. Prepared by Barbara Whitlock, 2009-09-29.
The Plant Anatomy Digital Archive Metadata Schema
The Dublin Core metadata standard, a well-established and simple element set designed to handle a wide range of resources, was used to describe the plant anatomy specimen images. The semantics of Dublin Core have been established by an international, cross-disciplinary group of professionals from a variety of fields of scholarship and practice. Although Dublin Core was first developed to describe text resources, it has been adapted for use with other material types including projects describing botanic specimens. This project developed a metadata schema utilizing a Dublin Core template within the CONTENTdm database management system. CONTENTdm supports Dublin Core and provides the presentation tools to group images from the same specimen and manipulate those images. The service also supports sophisticated discovery including OAI sharing.
It was intended that the metadata records accurately present the data as it was originally transcribed in the Plant Anatomy Database with the corrections that Dr. Whitlock has described in the Data Dictionary. The locality data were not altered except to spell out the abbreviations for Florida, Miami and several other familiar locations in the United States. An additional field was created for the current name of the country (if it could be determined) so that a geographic index could be prepared indicating the general location where the specimen was collected. The presentation of the date was not changed. The names of the collectors were not altered except to arrange the names in last name, first name order. The Order to which the specimen belonged was added (the source was the Angiosperm phylogeny web site), but as the taxonomic classification of many of the these plants is in flux Class was not included.
A remaining task as of August 2009 is to prepare a Darwin Core record to submit to the Global Biological Information Facility (GBIF). That will include a inventory representing all of the 3,400 specimens in the collection. Prepared by Lyn MacCorkle, 2009-08-20.