Virtual Herbarium Project
The Hodgdon Herbarium is a member of the Consortium of Northeastern Herbaria and the U.S. Virtual Herbarium project. Over the past several years, the availability of computer-related tools to facilitate specimen-level databasing of natural history collections has increased dramatically. As a result, the number of specimen collections from universities, natural history museums, and other institutions that are available over the internet has begun to grow rapidly. Large numbers of these collection databases are tied together through regional, national, and international internet portals, such as the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Through these portals, it is possible to search all of the networked specimen databases simultaneous with a single query. Thus, this trend to database and digitize images of natural history collections has increased their intrinsic value by making the information readily available to a much broader community. Access to collection data and images for such large numbers of specimens opens the possibility for a wide range of studies that would not have been feasible otherwise.