The National Virtual Herbarium of Jordan

The National Virtual Herbarium (NVH) is an online resource that provides free and immediate access to collections of digitized plant specimens and related data held by various Jordanian herbaria.

Jordan has a large number of specimen collections, including type specimens and valuable historical collections, in herbaria scattered throughout the country.

Until now, researchers have often had difficulty gaining access to Jordan's herbarium specimens. The NVH will make Jordan's herbarium collections available online for easy consultation.

The NVH was created in January 2012 by the National Herbarium of Jordan, a division of the Royal Botanic Garden (RBG).

Our aim is to digitize a maximum number of herbarium specimens, and make them available online in an easily searchable format.

As we begin our work at the NVH, our top priority is to scan and upload the type specimens and historical collections of Jordan. New specimen records will continue to be digitized and uploaded, until all of the 2,600+ botanical species of Jordan are represented.

Goals

  • Digitize type specimens and historical collections found in Jordanian herbaria
  • Digitize herbarium specimens of all native species of Jordan
  • Make the scanned herbarium specimens accessible to botanists and other researchers free of charge

History

The National Herbarium of Jordan began establishing ties with other herbaria in the country in 2010, since we firmly believe that collaboration promotes science and research.

Our early contact with the NCARE herbarium was well received and marked the start of a fruitful cooperation.

We are now in contact with many herbaria around the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, including the herbarium of the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, where historical and valuable specimens can be found; the relatively new Hashemite University herbarium; and the seven herbaria of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), located in Jordan's nature reserves. 

Collaboration

In connecting with other herbaria in Jordan, our main objectives are:

  • Establish cooperative ties and working relationships with all major herbaria in Jordan
  • Digitize specimens from all herbaria – especially type specimens and historical collections – and include them in the National Virtual Herbarium of Jordan

Future Plans

  • Expand the digital collection of the National Virtual Herbarium of Jordan by uploading new specimens 
  • Enhance the virtual herbarium by adding more data and new tools, to improve user friendliness
  • Cultivate ties with more herbaria for cooperation purposes