Resource Identification for a Biological Collection Information Service in Europe

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Faculty of Natural Sciences, Szczecin University and BioCISE

Workshop "Access to Biological Collection Information in Poland - a European Perspective"

Dziwnówek,"Róza Wiatrów". November 26th-27th, 1999

Workshop Index

Minutes: Presentation summaries (draft)

The Saturday meeting was devoted to the representation of Polish biological collections. Talks were given by 17 of the participants, with special emphasis on the collections’ contents and information access. A brief summary of the presentations follows in the sequence of speakers:

Teresa Bielska, Ogród Botaniczny UW / Warszawa

The Botanical Garden Warszawa cultivates a collection of about 5,000 taxa on a 5 ha areal, arranged according to the Engler system. A multi-user database system under FoxPro covers about 1,000 species with documented origins, cultivation information etc. The system is not accessible on-line but produces a twice-yearly updated web output of names and localities of the plants within the garden.

Krzysztof Spalik, Instytut Botaniki   UW / Warszawa

The herbar of Warszawa University contains about 400,000 specimens, about two thirds of which are determined. One curator is in charge of the collections, which provide excellent coverage of Poland in its pre-war borders. The implementation of a database is planned and shall start within the next two years.

Adam Stroinski, Muzeum i Instytut Zoologii PAN / Warszawa

The Zoological Museum and Institute started with the beginning of the 19th century as a private collection and later joined the university collections. The collections contain approx. 5.5 Mio specimens, of which 3.5 are entomological objects and another million mollusks, mainly recent, from Asia, Europe and S America. The collections are kept at two sites, one within, one near Warszawa. The database (Foxpro, 75,000 records mostly of types, with birds and mammals completely accessioned) at present is not accessible via the WWW.

Jaroslaw Buszko, Instytut Ekologii i Ochrony Srodowiska / Torun

The database of Lepidoptera (butterflies) of Poland kept by the Institute of Ecology and Environment Protection covers observation-based faunistic mapping records, at least two thirds of which are checked data. The database, an Access 97 based application, is principally accessible via the WWW allowing searches by species names and giving additional information on the taxa, including photographic documentation. Access by locality will be restricted to avoid commercial exploitation.

Marian Ciaciura, Katedra Taksonomii Roslin i Fitogeografii / Szczecin

A large botanical garden for Szczecin is projected on an inner-city terrain covering 300 ha. Plans have progressed to the state of official acceptance of the terrain; the garden will be owned by the city. Part of it has conservational aims, an area of about 55 ha will be used for plant cultivation, including the old "Schulgarten".

Slawomir Florian, Instytut Botaniki Uniwersytet Jagiellonski / Kraków

The Botanical Institute owns a botanical garden collection and a herbarium with a total of 350,000 specimens, vascular plants (250,000) forming the dominant part. The collections have a world-wide scope, containing many types and several historical collections from the 18th century. The contents of the collections are documented in print, likewise 3.5 Mio records from mapping projects. Selected contents of the collection database are accessible as demonstration pages in the WWW, including maps. A catalogue of Polish herbaria (Z. Mirek, L. Musial, J. J. Wójcicki. Pol. Bot. Studies Guidebook Series 18, Kraków 1997) has been published in co-ordination with the Academy of Sciences Library.

Maria Lisiewska, Instytut Biologii UAM / Poznan

The fungal collections of the Plant and Ecology Institute contain about 30,000 specimens, most of which are catalogued but not yet recorded in a database (transfer to an Access-based application temporarily postponed). The collections cover macrofungi mainly of Poland, but also of SE Europe. Maintenance has to be done without fulltime staff and relies on the initiative of the professor in charge and volunteers (students).

Lubomira Burchardt, Zaklad Hydrobiologii UAM / Poznan

The algae collections of the Hydrobiological Institute are reported to be the richest collections in Europe. They contain, i.a., fragments of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum’s collections, the Rabenhorst collection, and the Charotheca Polonica. The collections are in parts well catalogued, including information on species ecology. The text files used lend themselves to computerization.

Lucja Swillo, Ogród Dendrologiczny / Przelewice

The Arboretum Michewiczka , 65 km from Przelewice, originates from a palace park which, in 1932, was turned into an arboretum. The collections contain 200 Taxa of trees on an area of 30 ha. The original data describing the collections have been destroyed in the war. By now, all holdings have been checked and documented in a catalogue including origin, location in the garden, date of accession etc. Documentation, though, is missing for the old accessions. A database is just being started, but will probably not be available on the WWW.

Maciej Niedzielski, Ogród Botaniczny   PAN / Warszawa

The Botanical Garden has been founded in the 1970ies and is financed by the Polish Community for Scientific Research and by project funding. On 40 ha (21 ha with collections), 9,500 taxa are cultivated, with a special accent on Ericaceae (600 taxa) and slow-growing conifers. The garden has an educational focus, receiving about 100,000 visitors per year. Scientific venues include a seedbank, the cultivation of wild forms of rye and of endangered species. Databases cover genetic resources (collection FAO), a local database (dBase 4) for endangered species, and all accessions of the botanical gardens.

Beata Pokryszko, Muzeum Przyrodnicze im. Prof. Wladyslawa Rydzewskiego / Wroclaw

The Museum curates the 2nd largest zoological collection in Poland as well as a herbarium. Founded in 1811, the collections up to date contain about 500,000 specimens in the herbarium, 2 Mio of  non-insect invertebrate taxa, 1 Mio specimens of 1,300 insect species, 1,200 fishes, 17,650 higher vertebrates. About 2,000 types of 1,000 taxa are included. Collections have been documented in a card index, later computerized using an Access database (all vertebrates, about one third of invertebrates). A homepage is under construction.

Piotr Rutkowski, Katedra Ekologii Roslin i Ochrony Przyrody UG / Gdansk Wrzeszcz

The herbarium contains 62,000 specimens with a focus on Orchidales, including a collection of 2,000 specimens in formaldehyde. The accessioning of the collections in a database is supposed to be finished within the next two years.

Anna Setlik, Muzeum Geologiczne, Instytutu Nauk Geologicznych / Wroclaw

The old data of the Museum were lost during the last war, a collection of 60,000 specimens disappeared. Today’s collections cover paleontological objects, mainly from Poland, also including other European countries. A card catalogue (12,000 specimens, fully documented) is being transferred to a FoxPro database and is accessible via the WWW.

Barbara Godzik, Instytut Botaniki PAN / Kraków

The Institute of Botany compiled an extensive overview of Polish herbaria, available on the internet (see The institute’s own collections, with more than 1 Mio specimens, constitute about a quarter of all Polish herbarium specimens, including a large phycological department, fungi, and vascular plants and a type collection of about 700 mosses. The paleontological collections are databased and available in the WWW, plans for the computerization of the other collections exist.

Piotr Szkudlarz, Instytut Biologii UAM / Poznan

The collections consist mainly of material from Poland, the Balkan region and the USA. Grave problems consisting in a lack of sufficient working space, of staff and of funds make the curation of the collections extremely difficult.

Mariusz Zielonka, Slowinski Park Narodowy / Smoldzino

The National Park has a small museum attached, its exhibitions devoted mainly to educational aspects of the park, also containing a small herbarium. The park itself receives about 60,000 visitors per year.

Andrzej Witkowski, Zaklad Paleooceanologii US / Szczecin

The Oceanological Institute has research interests in the Baltic region, as well as a world-wide scope. Its collections, i.a., include about 10,000 diatom slides and 4,000 wet samples from all over the world. The implementation of a database is intended for the near future.

[Workshop index | Scope | Introduction to BioCISE | Presentations | Discussion and conclusions | Participants]

The workshop was organized by Prof. Dr. Andrzej Witkowski, Uniwersytet Szczecinski,

This page last updated March 09, 2000

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