Undoubtedly the main attraction of this website lies in its illustrations, about 17.000 in all, and we have been fortunate in being able to obtain permission to reproduce many excellent and unique colour slides from excellent fotographers. A list of institutes and individuals who have contributed to this website can be found in the Navigator menu item labelled Contributors.
Most of the slides of the early CD-ROMs were converted to digital images and edited digitally by the authors, either by correcting colours, enhancing contrast and sharpness, by cropping, and sometimes by removing disturbing elements such as scratches and dust. Later during the project digital cameras became affordable and soon after these became standard tools. When certain pictures are still considered to be unsatisfactory it should be realised that several were taken under very difficult circumstances in the jungles of New Guinea. As far as possible these will be replaced in an updated version of this website.
An extremely important source of illustrations has been the archive of J.J. Smith, preserved at the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland in Leiden. This contains thousands of pencil drawings, almost all on standard sized cardboard cards. These drawings, most by Smith himself, others by Indonesian draughtsmen like Natadipoera and Darmosoediro (in the spelling used in the original sources), were the models for the fine lithographs in the main works by J.J. Smith on New Guinea orchids published in the series Nova Guinea between 1909 and 1935. But the archive also contains many unpublished drawings, often of species that have never been illustrated elsewhere. We have freely tapped from this source, and as a result have been able to illustrate almost all of the numerous species described by J.J. Smith from New Guinea. We plan to include all the published drawings of Schlechter as well.
It is sad to report that Smith often used an inferior kind of drawing paper which over the years has become yellow or even brownish and very brittle. An average specimen would look like this: 178-25AO.JPG
Fortunately, there are computer programmes which, at least on screen, can restore the scanned drawing to something resembling the original just after it was drawn. One such program, Adobe Photoshop, was used for this purpose. Mr. P. Hartog is responsible for about 90% of all the scanning and editing of the J.J. Smith drawings included in this website, the remainder were done by one of the authors (A. Schuiteman), who also established the target specifications and procedures.
The edited version of the same drawing looks like this: 178-25A.JPG
While the original has the charm of authenticity we considered it to be preferable to edit the drawings in this way for greater clarity. Please note that Smith as a rule did not draw all the separate flower parts seen on a particular drawing to the same scale. We have refrained from adding scale-bars and legends to the drawings, first because of the effort involved, second because this would have made the drawings much less pleasing to look at.
A novel feature in Vol. V and VI of the CD-ROMs was the inclusion of stereo-images, almost all made by Peter Jongejan. Before he retired from his hobby of collecting and photographing Bulbophyllum species around the year 1990, he assembled what was probably the best collection of living Bulbophyllum species there had ever been till that time. With permission from the authorities there, Mr. Jongejan made several collecting trips to Papua New Guinea. These have contributed enormously to our knowledge of the genus Bulbophyllum, and they have yielded numerous new species, all of which, as far as they have been described already, were shown on the Bulbophyllum CD-ROM, using Mr. Jongejan’s own stereo-slides. His slides are now in the collection of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and we were fortunate that we were allowed to reproduce many of them.