29 May 2015

Explore the botanical world with a unique resource

Monash Library databases can link you to a wealth of information in the form of articles, papers and books, but there is another side to our extensive electronic collections....By Catherine Hocking

Imagine being able to take a sneak peek into the extensive botanical collections of international herbaria – this is precisely what JSTOR Global Plants allows you to do! Over 300 institutions (including 11 Australian) have contributed images and other materials from their collections including:
  • botanical type specimens
  • illustrations
  • photographs
  • artefacts
  • correspondences
  • articles, books, dissertations, reports and manuscripts. 
In addition to an extensive advanced search you have the option of browsing by 55 broad collections which can then be narrowed by resource type, geography and herbarium.

High quality, high resolution images allow for zooming in closely on specimens - almost like visiting the collection in person. Seeing the pollen on an acacia specimen at close range is almost enough to bring on a bout of hay fever!
While a highly specialised collection, JSTOR Global Plants has the potential for much broader application with the general interest potential of illustrations and historic correspondence.

Those unfamiliar with scientific plant names may find using JSTOR Global Plants in conjunction with a more general resource such as A dictionary of plant sciences helpful in identifying specific plants.

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