[tdwg-content] Darwin Core vernacularName field

John Wieczorek tuco at berkeley.edu
Thu Jul 21 19:49:43 CEST 2011

Slight correction, the Darwin Core Archive is an implementation of the
Darwin Core Text specification, which is a part of the standard.

On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 9:57 AM, Chuck Miller <Chuck.Miller at mobot.org> wrote:
> Geoffrey,
> I want to point out that ABCD, another TDWG collection data standard, does
> enable multiple, including vernacular, names. ABCD is being used in Europe
> and I believe GBIF interfaces with it along with DwC and DwCArchive.
> DwCArchive also enables multiple names but is not a TDWG standard. Either
> could be a solution to your situation.
> Chuck
> On Jul 21, 2011, at 10:23 AM, "Geoffrey Allen" <gsallen at unb.ca> wrote:
> Greeting,
> I have recently begun the process of digitising the 60,000 specimen vouchers
> from the UNB herbarium. The textual data for 40,000+ of those has already
> been entered into a database, and I am now trying to map those values to DwC
> so that we may share the data with other collections.
> I have some concern over the fact that simple DwC does not allow the
> repetition or extension of certain fields. The vernacularName field is a
> particular problem. New Brunswick is Canada's only officially bilingual
> province, as such, our specimens are all identified with both their English
> and French common names in the database. It would be very useful if we could
> extend DwC, creating something along the lines of <vernacularName lang=en>,
> or allow nesting of elements, perhaps in the form:
> <vernacularName>
> <English>Chives</English>
> <French>Ciboulette, brulotte</French>
> </vernacularName>
> The other option, as I see it, is that we store the English and French
> common names in our own fields, and then concatenate the two to create the
> DwC:vernacularName field. I see this option as less than ideal since it may
> hinder search/browsability. It may also cause a host of other problems from
> interpreting to storing the data. The herbarium with whom we first intent to
> share the data has already expressed a concern that their system cannot
> handle the diacritics found in many of the French names (!). They would like
> the Eng. common names, but not the French. This is more difficult to achieve
> if we concat the values.
> One additional thought is that the herbarium's imprint, _Flora of New
> Brunswick_, also includes common names in Maliseet and Mi'kmaq wherever
> possible. Although these two aboriginal languages do not currently exist in
> the dataset we are using, there is the potential that they may be added at
> some point in the future.
> It seems to me that the repetition of fields may be necessary in other
> instances too. I am having some difficulty figuring out how to record all
> the location data we have for the specimens, which are indicated using
> verbal descriptions, Lat/Long, UTM, and NTS coordinates - in many cases
> using all 4 for a single sample, but I will save the details for another
> posting.
> I will watch for the group's thoughts on this problem.
> Many thanks,
> Geoffrey
> --------------------------------------------
> Geoffrey Allen
> Digital Projects Librarian
> Electronic Text Centre
> Harriet Irving Library
> University of New Brunswick
> Fredericton, NB  E3B 5H5
> Tel: (506) 447-3250
> Fax: (506) 453-4595
> gsallen at unb.ca
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