Hermann's collections from Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) comprises of four volumes of dried specimens and one of illustrations.
The provision of digital images and a database not only makes information on these important collections much more widely accessible but will also considerably reduce the handling of these historical volumes.
The Heritage Lottery Fund generously donated the necessary funds to allow the digitisation of specimens from the Paul Hermann Herbarium.
Using a large format camera with a digital scanner attachment, the images were fed directly into a computer using Photophase. The volumes are large (approx. 40cm x 50cm) and vary in the number of specimens each contains, but there are frequently several to a single page. Their different shapes and thickness have caused the pages to be uneven and rippled.
In some cases, the pages were so uneven that a longer exposure time could not always compensate for this, which has resulted in some areas being slightly out of focus.
The database and herbarium can be browsed page by page, or alternatively specific search criteria may be entered.
Various fields in the database may be searched. A search upon the Flora Zeylanica number will extract records for all specimens bearing that number. On the Results page, the volume and page information is presented in a combined standard format with the volume number first, followed by a colon and then the page number within the volume.