Summary: An evolving digital library focused on the botanical history of the Carolinas. Focuses of research are digital imagery of botanical specimens from the Sloane Herbarium in London, with associated electronic texts, data collections, and indices. This project uses the CITE Infrastructure, developed by the Homer Multitext (C. Dué & M. Ebbott, editors).
Botanica Caroliniana is an inter-institutional, inter-disciplinary collaborative project in research, teaching, and publication, that focuses on the botany of the Carolinas from their earliest exploration by Europeans to living plants under curation and in the wild today. This work addresses modern botanical science in its own terms, but also as a legacy of (and actor in) intellectual, economic, and political history going back to ancient scientists and works of natural history in Greek and Latin. This project invites collaboration among professional scholars, graduate students, and particularly undergradutes in the disciplines of Botany, Environmental Science, American History, Classics, and Computer Science.
The project’s deliverables will be traditional scholarly articles on historical, linguistic, and scientific topics, but its true aims are (a) to provide educational experiences to students at two institutions enriched by focused work toward meangingful contributions to knowledge, and (b) an expanding body of well-documented data in open formats and under open-content licenses, available for use, integration, and re-purposing through a flexible and ontologically rigorous digital library architecture.
Botanica Caroliniana has received support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support collabortive undergraduate research in Liberal Arts approaches to historical botany and forensic ecology. This grant will support a course at Furman University, ongoing work on digital publication of historical botanical specimens and other data, and collaboration with European institutions.
McMillan, P.D., A.H. Blackwell, C. Blackwell, and M.A. Spencer. 2013. “The vascular plants in the Mark Catesby collection at the Sloane Herbarium, with notes on their taxonomic and ecological significance.” Phytoneuron 2013-7: 1–37.