InsideWood. A new internet-accessible wood anatomy database.


E.A. Wheeler, Wood & Paper Science, Box 8005, N.C. State University
T. D. Simpson, D.H. Hill Library, Box 7111, N.C. State University
S.L. Rodgers, D.H. Hill Library, Box 7111, N.C. State University
P.E. Gasson, RBG, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3DS, U.K.,
K.R. Brown, D.H. Hill Library, Box 7111, N.C. State University
J.A. Bartlett, Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Science, Box 8208, N.C. State University
P. Baas, NHN, Universiteit Leiden Branch, P.O. Box 9514, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.

InsideWood is a new, extensive, Internet-accessible wood anatomy reference, research, and teaching tool. This collaborative effort integrates information from wood anatomy databases for modern and fossil woods compiled at North Carolina State University and the wood uses database of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K., with guidance from N.C. State’s D.H. Hill Library. Modern woods are described using the IAWA (International Association of Wood Anatomists) List of Features Suitable for Hardwood Identification, and the fossil woods by a subset of these features. As of May 2004 there were over 5800 records for modern woods and over 1200 records for fossil woods. The primary objective of the InsideWood web site is to provide an interface to search the database by IAWA feature number, keyword, or browse by family or genus. Another objective of the site is to serve as a repository for photomicrographs of wood structure, particularly previously unpublished images. A virtual reference collection of microscope slides now includes 6,200 digital images from the wood collections of the National Herbarium of The Netherlands, some 2000 scans of existing 35 mm photographs (including donated images of Lauraceae from H.G. Richter, Sapindaceae from R. Klaassen,Cornaceae from Shuichi Noshiro), and 500 original digital photographs. The fossil wood database will be searchable on-line by 2005. Metadata for the image collections, which are related to species descriptions, include photographer and institutional affiliation, wood collection number, technical information on the image. The robust relational data structure allows easy access and expansion, and agrees with current protocols for digital libraries and information science. The InsideWood web site will have value in 1) helping with wood identification, 2) providing data that can be incorporated into phylogenetic studies, and 3) serving as a resource for any course that teaches about the internal structure of woody plants.