Grant Helps Butler's Friesner Herbarium Put Plants Online

More than 1,900 specimens of ferns and orchids that grow in Indiana can now be seen and studied online, thanks to an $8,000 grant Butler University received from the Indiana State Library.

The digital images, along with specific information on each plant, are available
here. The plants are part of the collection in Butler’s Friesner Herbarium, which houses specimens from more than 43,000 Indiana plants as well as 55,000 samples from elsewhere. (Herbaria are systemic collections of pressed and dried plants with labels that document who collected them, when, and where. The focus of the Friesner Herbarium is plants that grow outside of cultivation.)

The University will publicly unveil the project at 3 p.m. Aug. 18 at Irwin Library. The event is free and open to the public.

“The idea is that hopefully, having this information available will make more people aware of the collection and its historical value,” said Rebecca Dolan, director of the Friesner Herbarium. “And as people are interested in the history of a county, they can look back at our records. Many of our specimens were collected in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s, before there was a lot of development in most of the state.”

Digitizing the first 1,900 specimens began a year ago as a joint project between the Herbarium and the Irwin Library. Lewis Miller, dean of the libraries, was the principal investigator on the grant. Butler partnered with IUPUI’s library to photograph the plants, then linked the images with data from each specimen. Irwin Library Catalog Librarian Janice Gustaferro entered the pictures and information into a searchable database.

Dolan said the process went so well that a second grant – this time $20,000 – will enable the University to digitize another 6,400 specimens from the sunflower/daisy family.

“The ultimate goal would be to get all 43,000 Indiana specimens digitized so people don’t have to come here to see the specimens,” she said.

The herbarium’s collection is kept in folders inside lockers that protect the specimens from light, water and insects. Dolan said the plants are useful in a variety of ways – for professional botanists interested in species distributions; for students and teachers studying Indiana natural history; for people trying to establish historical landscapes; for people interested in the spread of non-native plants.

The project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to grow and sustain a “nation of learners,” because lifelong learning is essential to a democratic society and individual success. Through its grant making, convenings, research and publications, the institute empowers museums and libraries nationwide to provide leadership and services to enhance learning in families and communities, sustain cultural heritage, build 21st century skills and increase civic participation. More information is available at<>.

The Butler University Year book Online

So in lamenting Pitt's annual early exit from the NCAA tourney I felt obligated to look into Butler University because I have no idea who Butler is, where they are from and why they have to stir up trouble for the basketball powers that be.

While my main passion is college football, I graduated from Pitt so, of course, I love Pitt's basketball team unconditionally as well.
Needless to say I was disappointed by Butler's 71-70 dismissal of Pittsburgh.

After the game I had to look up a little bit about Butler. How many scholarships do they have?.. What conference do they play in?.. Do they have a Div. 1 football team?

Ultimately, I was convinced enough that Butler is an actual college, so I entered "Butler University Yearbooks" into the search bar and I was surprised to see that Butler University has their yearbooks posted online.

The yearbooks have had several names over the years, The Carillon, The Gallery and the name the yearbook started with and has come back to time and time again: The Drift.

The earliest yearbook Butler has available online is from way back in 1891, and butler boasted a solid football team even way back then.

One of the interesting things regarding any early yearbook the occasional bias exhibited by student writers.
I particularly liked this page from the 1891 Drift where the writer directly refutes a score on account of the ref not knowing the rules.
That is definitely a possibility in those early days- especially considering that there were two sets of rules committees even as late as 1896, but I have found no evidence thus far to suggest that Butler was robbed of 16 points vs Hanover and lost the 1887 Indiana state championship as a result. 

So while these texts can certainly offer us some more clarity on football's salad days - the accounts can be biased and may raise as many new questions as they answer.

In all, this is another great surprise addition to the yearbooks collection. This one was produced by the Internet Archive and looks great, is easy to use and is keyword searchable. Pitt's loss to Butler in the round of 32 was hard to swallow, but at least I found this one positive in another painful Pitt tournament loss.
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