NVH News

RBG conducts first training on the Establishment of a Virtual Herbarium

On 24-28 May, 2015, the Royal Botanic Garden conducted the first training on the Establishment of a Virtual Herbarium. Trainees were Dr Amina Al-Farsi and Miss Thekra Al-Manthari from Sultan Qaboos University, Oman.

The workshop highlighted the importance of online resources to facilitate sharing botanical information, and included all various topics related to virtual herbaria:

- Prepare specimen related information. - Know website requirements and preparing required information.
- Prepare specimen for scanning: colour chart, scale, QR code, specimen positioning.
- Adjust the settings before scanning.
- Scanning process.
- Retouching and image exporting by Photoshop.
- Upload specimens and related information to the website.

Part of the training was conducted at the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE), since the RBG is currently scanning the Historical Collection dating back to late 1800 and early 1900, which is deposited at the NCARE Herbarium.

During the training, the trainees had the chance to walk through the Garden and see different parts of it, including the herbarium and the seed bank.

Over 120 New Specimens from Spring Collecting Trip

The herbarium team is currently mounting specimens that were collected in April 2013 during a field trip organized by RBG Jordan and RBG Kew in cooperation with the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), as part of the EU FP7-funded BOT-ERA project.

Specimens of over 120 species and seeds of native plants were collected in diverse nature areas of Jordan such as the Dana Biosphere Reserve and Ajloun Forest Reserve. Specific training was given in collection techniques and the preservation of seeds and specimens in the field.

Three specimen sets were collected for each plant. One set was deposited at RBG Jordan, and the duplicates went to the RSCN and RBG Kew. Some specimens were taken to the UK for identification by Kew botanists.

The new specimens will soon be scanned and made available online at the National Virtual Herbarium.

More info on the RBG’s spring collecting trip and training can be accessed here.

Specimens from the 1800s and 1900s

The National Virtual Herbarium is continuing to upload specimens from a historical collection housed at one of our partner herbariums, the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE) of Jordan.

The specimens, from the late 1800s and early 1900s, include some collected by John Edward Dinsmore, Fred S. Mayers and George Edward Post.


Historical Collection Being Uploaded
February 2013

The National Virtual Herbarium is proud to announce the addition to our website of the first part of a historical collection dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The specimens in question were collected and determined in the TransJordan and CisJordan areas by botanists John Edward Dinsmore, Fred S. Mayers and George Edward Post.

Search Now

You may search our website for these historic specimens, an example of which is here: Acer sp.

We will be uploading more of the same collection on an almost daily basis, so please check the website often.

Our Collaborators

We would like to thank the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE) for allowing us to scan these specimens deposited at their herbarium.

Our thanks also goes out to all the other herbaria collaborating with us in Jordan, as we look forward to scanning and adding their specimens to the National Virtual Herbarium in the future.

If you have not already done so, please subscribe to the National Virtual Herbarium newsletter in the sidebar box.

We are excited about our task of providing you with online access to herbarium specimens of Jordan’s native flora, and hope you’ll send us your feedback.

-- Maysa Shishani
NVH Coordinator
February 12, 2013



A Few Words from the Coordinator of the National Virtual Herbarium
January 2012

The establishment of Jordan’s National Virtual Herbarium has been both a joyous journey and a huge challenge, made possible with the support of many. 

I wish to express my deep gratitude to Princess Basma bint Ali, as she has provided the foundation and inspiration for the National Virtual Herbarium, and the entire Royal Botanic Garden. Without her encouragement and belief in me, and her contagious enthusiasm all the way, the task would have been much harder.

Particular thanks go to my colleagues at the Royal Botanic Garden: Tariq Abu Taleb and Oraib Nawash, for their continuous support; Kamal Nuimat and Habiba Dingwall, for their help anytime and all the time, Hatem Taifour for classifying and checking the specimens; Maysoon Abu Hammour for help in preparing specimens at the National Herbarium of Jordan; and the rest of the RBG team, for making everything run smoothly in a congenial atmosphere.

I’d also like to extend my appreciation to:

  • Peter Wyse Jackson, President of the Missouri Botanical Garden, for quickly supplying us with hard-to-find materials.
  • Anna Saltmarsh, Andrew McRobb and Emma Williams from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, for providing technical details and rapid replies to emails.
  • Khalid Abu Laila from the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE), for his ongoing support and cooperation.
  • Matthew Jebb, Director of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, for being my first mentor in my career as manager of the RBG herbarium and database – I can never thank him enough!
  • Dawud Al-Eisawi, for guiding me towards my career – I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for him.
  • And last but not least, Darach Lupton, for his unlimited support and interest in the project.

-- Maysa Shishani
Programme Coordinator
Herbarium and Plant Records

January 12, 2012