Indian Virtual Herbarium (https://ivh.bsi.gov.in) is a database of dried plants that maximizes the usefulness of the collections. Apart from digital images of the herbarium specimens, the label data on each species include all information about the herbarium specimen such as family, genus, species, author citation, sub-species, variety (if any), collector, collection number, collection date, herbarium region, localities, plant description, habitat and comments (if any) are available.
JPEG image of Type and general herbarium specimen under good resolution along with colour scale on one side of specimen is provided that will help the users to identify the plant species. Users can browse species by barcode number, family, genus, species, author name, collector name, collection number, state and country. The website provides basic and advanced search capabilities. Text entered in basic search provides option to users to narrow down the search in family, scientific name, country and collector in the herbarium database, while advanced search allows text to be searched in specific field.
Today, information on botanical collections is made more accessible through digitization, database development and the internet. Digital images of herbarium specimens and electronic records of the data contained on specimen labels can never replace the physical herbarium. However, this is the only means by which the large quantities of data concerning the native and naturalized plants of India can be made readily available and will provide faster access to specimens for researchers throughout the world. It also will provide safe-guard to the collection by providing a digital back-up to the physical specimens and reduce handling and shipping.