February 2024
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Another day

Sitting at work, going through some 8000 records in our Scanning Database. When I started working with the API-project (no, not API but API or African Plants Initiative, a truely international project that has now expanded to “Latin American Plants (and Global Types) Initiative(s)”, with more than 100 collaborating herbaria and institutions) we already had a Collection Database that was in use and, so I was told, already had all our Type Specimens entered. So all I had to do was to unpack the scanners and start scanning our 4500 African Types.

Urtica lobata (S-G-6253), scannad at NRM

Urtica lobata (S-G-6253), scannad at NRM

Or so I thought. After my training week at Kew it was obvious that our Collection Database, thought a very good Collection Database, was not up to the task when it had to communicate with the rest of the world, as it had to do now. So I created a separate Scanning Database, where I transfered all relevant information from the Collection Database, and modified and added what was needed before submitting the metadata to the Aluka Production Team. So at the end of the API-project I had a database with detailed information on more than 8000 African Types (yes, we found a few overlooked specimens in the meantime) that only partly matched the information in our Collection Database. Meanwhile the Collection Database had evolved and, with only some minor modifications, it was now also useful for both presenenting our collections on the webb (Krypto-S), but also for the metadata to Aluka. So now we have decided, rightly so, to phase out the Scanning Database. And thus I’m sitting here, going through all the 8000+ records by hand so not to overwrite any unique information in the Collection Database. Outside the window the rain is pouring down. And M is in Austria, right now out trekking.

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