Tedious Archive Process Speeds Up

Lab Report

By: Ann Northrup

Ann Northrup spent her undergraduate years at the University of Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in microbiology….

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Imagine trying to digitally photograph the 7.3 million, mostly pressed, plant specimens at the New York Botanical Garden. Progress had been a relatively slow 25,000 specimens a year, until they discovered they could use a light box designed to photograph jewelry in combination with character recognition software that cut down on the time needed for data entry. Access to the archive is available to anyone who wishes to browse the gallery. The 2-million-specimen mark was passed in Fall 2013. At the current rate of 100,000 specimens per year, they should be done in no time.

Popular Science E-newsletter, December 26, 2013