An introduction to SERNEC – TCN resources

Posted by md68135 Friday, August 28, 2015 - 12:56pm

The SERNEC Thematic Collections Network (TCN) is a project that will enable the SERNEC group, which includes 93 herbaria, to make data available for over 3 million specimens using the latest photography and information capture tools and to engage citizen scientists and students to assist in transcribing and georeferencing this large dataset. This award was made by the National Science Foundation (Award Number 1410069). The research generated through this project can help regional planners, land managers and communities to manage their natural resources in our ever-changing environment.

While herbarium digitization is not new, the SERNEC – TCN has some unique features to its workflow and overall goals. In addition, this new funding has allowed us to build some custom software solutions to aid in the digitization process. In the first year of the project, we have spent time documenting the workflow. This has been in collaboration with other TCN projects as well as other experts in the field. One notable example was a workshop that was held in Valdosta, Georgia that specifically focused on herbarium digitization workflows. We were very fortunate to have some of the foremost experts on this topic in attendance. This collaboration has continued to this day in the form of sharing ideas, documents and lessons learned.

The following resources are a great way to learn more about specific aspect of the project, ways to stay connected or ask specific questions.


SERNEC Website

Resources page: The primary resources that outline different aspects of the SERNEC – TCN workflow. These documents include imaging station set up, image capture and processing, image upload to name a few. Please check back from time to time for document updates and new documentation.

TCN Information page: This page contains “internal” documents such as meeting notes, reports and other miscellaneous items.


Discussion Forum

We have a Google Group called SERNEC TCN Collection Managers. This is a place for discussion and other important announcements. We recommend that all project participants join this list.


Other TCN sites

While the workflows differ, these sites contain excellent resources that relate to museum specimen digitization.

New England Vascular Plants

Macroalgal Herbarium Consortium

Tri-Trophic TCN

Lichens, Bryophytes and Climate Change


Symbiota Collections of Arthropods Network (SCAN)