Type specimens are the basis and permanent reference for scientific names. These types are an essential
resource for taxonomists and researchers of biodiversity. However, taxonomists and researchers in
biodiversity face with problems when they want to examine type specimens: sending type specimens on loan
is frequently impossible because of costs and the risk of damaging the types in mail, and visiting museums to
examine types is expensive and time consuming.
Advances in imaging systems, computers and databases now enable scientists to view detailed images of type
specimens using the internet. Using on-line images eliminates the costly and potentially damaging procedure
of physically sending specimens.
The type specimens held by National Museum of Nature and Science are being electronically catalogued and
digitally imaged. Although it takes time to complete this project, important parts of the type specimens are
now available on this web site.