The German Virtual Herbarium, abbreviated VH/de, is a new data portal facilitating access to the plant collections records of German herbaria. These collections house more than 15 million specimens of vascular plants, mosses and macro algae and have an extraordinary value as archives and documentation of species occurrences over time and space. They are essential for research on systematics, taxonomy, abundance of plants and on changes of the flora of our planet. The data portal is based on the BioCASe Portal Software.
The new data portal offers a common entrance point to the digitally available parts of these collections. Currently, more than 530,000 herbarium specimens are accessible at http://vh.gbif.de. Up to now, fourteen herbaria from Germany have joined, with more to follow. VH/de is being launched with collections from Berlin (B), Bremerhaven (BRM), Frankfurt/Main (FR), Görlitz (GLM), Göttingen (GOET), Halle (HAL), Hamburg (HBG), Jena (JE), Konstanz (KONL), Mainz (MJG, MNHM), München (M, MSB) and Regensburg (REG). All of the partners use the BioCASe Provider Software for feeding their data into the Virtual Herbarium.
The common access point for several herbaria allows comparative research on specimens from different institutions. Upon request, the German Virtual Herbarium always shows the latest data, since it retrieves records directly from the data provider before display. High-resolution images allow close-up scrutiny of the virtual specimens.