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From: "J.E. Shields" <jshields104 at INSIGHTBB.COM>
Subject: Recording data
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Thanks very much for your detailed comments.  Your system is very close t=o
mine, right down to the backlog on getting data from the notebook into th=e
computer database.

I try to be able to trace every bulbous plant I grow to its origins.  Som=e,
such as seedlings from seed of Rod & Rachel Saunders, Silverhill Seeds in
South Africa, cannot be easily tracked back. The Saunderses handle mostly
wild collected seed, but do not normally include any data on provenance
beyond that.  I have gotten general geographic provenance information fro=m
Rachel on occasion, generally just for the small -volume or short-lived
seeds like the fleshy Amaryllidaceae.

Pascal, do you use a database program or a spreadsheet for your
computerized data?  I use MS Access as the main system, but also work wit=h
Excel occasionally.  I based my data model on an abbreviated form of the
BGCI ("Botanic Gardens Conservation International") system, which I got
from a friend at Chicago Botanic Gardens.  I omit such fields as "Verifie=d
by" and "Level of Verification" -- almost none of my stuff has ever been
seen by a professional taxonomist.  I think the system "BG-Base" for
Windows is based on the  same structure, see:

For years, I just keep notes in a bound notebook.  I assigned each new
acquisition an accession number right from the start.  My accession numbe=rs
are simple integers assigned in numerical sequence.  One of the oldest
plants that I still have, has number 180.  I'm at about 1400 now.  There
are a lot of dead plants included between 180 and 1400.  Plants raised fr=om
seeds of my older accessions get new accession numbers but are related to
the parents, by "ex #1234" etc.

Anyone else have a record-keeping system they could tell us about?

Jim Shields

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA                   Tel. +1-317-896-3925

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