Using a large-format camera with digital scanner attachment, the images were fed directly into a dedicated computer using Photophase software. The camera was generally set at an aperture of f.11 and a shutter speed of 1/60th second with a resolution of 300 dpi. The image capture process was much quicker than some previous departmental digital projects involving large folio bound volumes, and it was easily possible to capture as many as 60 specimen images per day.
Once captured, the images were processed using Photoshop 5.0 software to produce thumbnail and full web JPEG files, both with a reduced resolution of 72 dpi, resulting in files of approximately 10-20 and 100-200 Kb respectively for ease of downloading, and the original TIFF files archived to CD.
Data held in the accompanying database have mostly been provided by the Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project, which holds data on all Linnaean names, many of which are directly linked to Clifford sheets. While we are aware of a number of inconsistencies and omissions with regard to the database, every effort has been made to provide as full and accurate information as possible, including data on the type status of specimens and determinations where present.
Unlike previous similar projects, where the accompanying database has been based on the literary work that formed the basis for the herbarium, eg. Flora Zeylanica for the Paul Hermann Herbarium, this project and the associated database are specimen based. Thus entries in Hortus Cliffortianus for which there is no associated specimen are not included. The reasons for this are the fact that the numbers of specimens in the Clifford herbarium are so much larger than for those herbaria previously dealt with, and because there are very few, if any, examples of specimens being cited which are no longer extant, whereas this was relatively common in previous projects. Like previous digital projects in the Botany Department, each specimen has its own image and database entry, including details such as type information and relevance to Linnaean nomenclature.
The specimens in the Clifford herbarium are arranged as in Hortus Cliffortianus, by genus with numbered species within each genus. Where these specimens have a proven connection to a Linnaean name, this is indicated along with current usage of the Linnaean name. It should always be borne in mind, however, that the current name refers only to current usage of the Linnaean name and is not intended to serve as a determination of the specimen (unless it is the designated type), as this is detailed separately where known. Where determinations are indicated but the name of the determinator is missing, this is because the author is unknown, the information being presented in the form in which it is found on the sheet. Also no attempt (except in the case of type specimens) has been made to ascertain the correctness of any determination (although any information on this would be gladly received) and they are provided solely for the purpose of guidance.
In some cases determinavit slips on the specimens may indicate that a particular specimen is original material, or the type, for a particular Linnaean name. In all cases, however, the database should be referred to for confirmation of this and should be treated as the authoritative element.
Various specimens are labelled as 'Indet' in the database. This largely refers to sheets ascribed to a genus but for which there is no corresponding species entry in Hortus Cliffortianus. These are placed at the end of the relevant generic entry thus following the sequence of the book. For these specimens the Hortus Cliffortianus generic name with which they are associated has been entered under 'Linnaean genus' but in square brackets in order to aid users in searching the database. A very few specimens are completely undetermined and cannot be correlated with any generic entry in Hortus Cliffortianus. In these cases some attempt has been made to ascertain where in the sequence they fit by studying both the annotations on the sheet and the relevant taxonomy. We have also tried to provide at least some determination information for these sheets in order to give users a reference point for them.
Various fields are searchable within the database and these can be used to enter specific search criteria. Alternatively, the database and images can be browsed sheet by sheet and entries are placed in the same order as that set out in Hortus Cliffortianus. There are also around a hundred Clifford sheets known to exist in Wageningen (WAG) in The Netherlands, although information held on these is somewhat incomplete. We do hope, however, at some future date to add information on these specimens; in the meantime any enquiries should be directed either to the co-ordinators of this project or to WAG.
Lastly, any queries or information on any of the specimens can be directed to either Charlie Jarvis or Steve Cafferty, and determination information, or indications of previously published type designations based on Clifford specimens, which are not currently included, are particularly welcome.