Herbarium: collectors number
I couldn't find anything on the forum about this. Only comments by transcribers on certain images that have not been answered yet so I'm starting a ne discussion about this.
On some of the recent images I've found either typed or handwritten numbers similar to this:
Up until now none of those images that had a "Grays" number had any other number on it so I figured it could be the collectors number and transcribed it as written. Now I found an image that has a Number and another "Gray" lable, namely "No. 112" and "Gray 1049 No. 2". So I guess this means the Gray numbers are not collector numbers afterall but rather something to tie the specimen to a particular collection?
The question is: What should we do when we come across one of these?
Hi Lax. Since no one else has answered, I'll throw in my two cents. But... it's only my opinion as a fairly new/inexperienced transcriber, with zero expertise or botanical or museum training.
The majority of labels I've seen with that kind of number on it also have another number that is clearly the collector's number, identifiable because it's using the same ink and typeface or handwriting as the other collector info, while the "Gray's" number (or others on the label) in most cases is clearly different. In that case, I enter the number I judge to be the collectors and ignore other numbers. I've seen enough of those that even when there isn't a collector number, I don't enter the "Gray's" number.
Of course there are some cases with two or even three numbers typed or written on the label, and it's not clear which one is the 'real' one. For that kind of problem, I transcribe one number and use 'discuss' to add a comment such as "Numbers xxx, yyy and zzz are written on label; unclear which is the collector's number; transcribed xxx"
As a rule, whenever I make a judgement call or interpretation of something unclear, or even just to correct misspellings, I write a comment to say what I did, in case it helps to clarify either what the label says or why I transcribed the way I did. I don't know if the people who process the transcribed results will use it, but I figure it might help and can't hurt, since they can ignore the comments if they don't matter.
Thank you for your input 😃. I think what you do is a reasonable way to handle things. I no longer enter the 'Gray' number as the collectors number. I can't imagine that we are supposed to enter it anywhere else for that matter. I guess it has the same status as the museum / collection reference numbers you usually find on the top edge of a sheet which would mean they are not to be transcribed.
So unless any officials have anything to correct here I think this matter is solved.