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"The Hotspot of Diversity" Online Now

The Arnold Arboretum has launched a new web site/resource entitled "Western China and Tibet: The Hotspot of Diversity." The new site, at, was developed and launched as part of the internal challenge grant program of the Library Digital Initiative (LDI). The new web site unites materials collected during four Harvard expeditions to South Central China and Tibet between 1924 and 2000. Original source materials from the expeditions are housed throughout the University-primarily in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Harvard University Herbaria, the Harvard-Yenching Library, the Harvard Map Collection, and the Arnold Arboretum Library in Jamaica Plain. Much of the material was previously uncataloged. Now all of the materials are cataloged, stored, and delivered to users of the new web site using the infrastructure developed through the Library Digital Initiative. The digital format links the various repositories and facilitates study by allowing students and scholars to move through time and within collections, accessing material that depicts the area's natural and ecological resources and documents the social and cultural history of China and Tibet.

According to Dale Flecker, associate director of the University Library for systems and planning, "This is the most inclusive LDI grant project we've completed to date. The collections that were digitized include historical and contemporary material from different departments across the University relating to South Central China and Tibet. As the first project to use almost all of the systems in the central infrastructure developed under LDI (including multiple catalogs and delivery systems, cross-catalog searching, and the Digital Repository Services) the Arboretum web site is an outstanding example of integrated access to Harvard's extensive digital and non-digital collections. The web site also links to several other Harvard University databases, providing access to other related Harvard collections."

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Last modified on Wednesday, March 19, 2003.