Collection History

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center image collection was created in 1984 through the cooperative efforts of plant ecologist Katherine Kennedy and volunteer Betty Scace. Together they did the initial research on slide collection development and management, with the help of Nancy Schuller, slide librarian for the Art History Department of the University of Texas at Austin.

Slide Data

Botanical slides are arranged by family, then by genus, species, and accession number. Each slide is also labeled with the genus, species, photographer initials, and accession number. The accession number is a unique identification number consisting of the year of accession plus a serial number. The accession number links the image to information contained in the database about its subject, the photographer, and the rights status of the image.

Image Data

The image database which fuels the Image Gallery web application contains the following fields of information:

Scientific Name
Common Name(s)
Plant Family
Photographer: Photographer name
Photographer ID: Photographer initials
City: Where image was taken
County: Where image was taken
State: Where image was taken
Region: Region state is in
Location Notes: Comments on location
Original Format: 35 MM or digital
Photo Category: A description of shot
Photo Notes:
Orientation: Portrait or landscape
Year Taken: Year image was taken
Accession Date: When image was acquired
PCD: Kodak Photo CD number
Image: Image number on Photo CD
File Name: Unique file name of image
Collection ID: TWC Slide Library
Use: Restrictions on image use, if any
Verified: Whether image ID has been verified
Verifier: Who verified the image
Verify Date: When image was verified


Each slide bears the initials of the photographer, which can be referenced for the photographer’s name and restrictions. All slides are donations. Each photographer has signed a release form allowing use of their images, with credit to him or her and the Center, indicating restrictions on use, if any. Release forms, correspondence, and any biographical information on photographers are kept on file permanently.

Taxonomic and Geographic Status

The detail page for each image in the gallery is linked to the USDA Plants Database allowing the user to check the Taxonomic and Geographic Status of each species. Although the majority of images in the gallery are of species native to the continental US, the user is encouraged to verify the origin of species in the gallery using this feature.

Image Use and Acquisition

Images are used for TWC programs, publications, and research. Wildflower Center staff members use the collection extensively assisted by weekly volunteers who help with labeling, cataloging, and refilling. Slides for loan or purchase requests are pulled by the resource botanists. To request a high resolution image for publication, please refer to the Image Use Policy and the Image Request Form before contacting Dr. Damon Waitt, Senior Botanist, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.


Many volunteers and staff have helped to build and develop the slide collection over the years. Special thanks to Janice Charnley, Susan Richter, Joe Marcus, Emil Lazzeri, Hannah & Rachel Waitt and Stephen Bruegerhoff for their help with image processing and data verification.

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