The BIAA is delighted to announce our new collaboration with Imagining Futures through Un/Archived Pasts, an AHRC-GCRF initiative funded by the UKRI led by the University of Exeter, on the Digitalising Turkey’s Botanical Heritage project.
Imagining Futures aims to preserve archives under threat and create egalitarian archiving practices that allow for the co-existence of multiple narratives of the past, which this project will do.
The Digitalising Turkey’s Botanical Heritage project involves a team of Turkish researchers working with the BIAA to conserve and digitalise a unique and at-risk collection of plant specimens and associated field notes. The BIAA Herbarium contains many plant specimens collected in the 1970s and 1980s by the late Professor Gordon Hillman in the southern Konya plain and the Euphrates region of eastern Turkey. As much of this area is now permanently flooded, the collection is an irreplaceable resource for understanding Turkey’s botanical past. Its international importance is indicated by its inclusion on registers such as Index Herbariorum (index code: BIA).
By collating and digitising collection data and combining it with high-resolution images of individual specimens, we intend to create an open-access digital herbarium of use to students, scholars and the interested public. The value of such digital resources has come sharply into focus during the current pandemic when physical access to collections has been limited. This will be an important teaching and research tool for the country and the region.
Find out more about the Digitalising Turkey’s Botanical Heritage project here.
Collaboration between Turkish researchers and the BIAA as custodian of the collection is a vital aspect of this initiative. The core team working on this project will be:
Nurdan Atalan Çayırezmez is currently pursuing a PhD in Information and Records Management at Ankara University and the BIAA’s Digital Repository Manager.
Ilgın Deniz Can is a Botany PhD student at Hacettepe University in Ankara.
Barış Uğurman is currently studying for an MSc at Ankara University and the BIAA’s Herbarium Assistant.
Gücügür Görkay will be the project’s specialist photographer.
Professor Necmi Aksoy from Düzce University Herbarium and Dr Mark Nesbitt of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, will advise the team.