Digitization section mainly concerns with the digitization of herbarium specimens preserved at National Herbarium and Plant Laboratories. Digitization of herbarium is a method of keeping electronic record of data within a database which contains information about the specimen (Scientific name, collection number, locality, etc.).
Herbarium specimens are valuable and irreplaceable history of floral diversity; therefore it is extremely important to safeguard them from natural and other disasters. Sometimes the herbarium specimens may become inaccessible to the scientific researchers, students as well as general public due to several unavoidable circumstances. On the other hand, conservation and utilization of herbarium specimens is also a primary function. So, safety of these specimens is becoming more challenging in present scenario having multitude of natural disasters and diverse research needs. Thus, the concept of virtual herbarium is gaining popularity among the herbaria worldwide. The digitization process allows for collections to be queried and analyzed in ways not previously possible, and enables virtual access to those unable to visit the collections in person.
The herbarium specimens are digitized with the help of Herbscanner (Epson 10000XL) and Nikon D810 Camera that produce high resolution images and together with the label information recorded in the database, they are uploaded in the website which is open to the public through plantdatabase.kath.gov.np. This method helps to protect the valuable herbarium specimens for their long term preservation due to less frequent handling and also makes them easily accessible. So, online data raise awareness of natural historical collections and open these rich resources to education and research.
National Herbarium and Plant Laboratories (KATH) have digitized more than 1,09,000 herbarium specimens till now, among them a total of 92,641 herbarium specimens are available online in the plantdatabase.kath.gov.np.
Link to our Plant Database http://plantdatabase.kath.gov.np/