Digitization of lichen specimens held within WIS’ sizeable collection first began in 2005 with financial support from the Botanical Club of Wisconsin and the leadership of Dr. James Bennett. By 2012 the database contained photographs, distribution maps, and >8,000 Wisconsin macrolichen specimen records from the WIS lichen collection. Additionally, checklists of lichens from National Parks (Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and St. Croix National Scenic Riverway) were also developed.
These projects were eventually expanded to include records for all North American lichens curated at WIS when the Herbarium took the lead in organizing a NSF-funded Thematic Collections Network (TCN) focused on North American lichens and bryophytes. Today, the products of these collaborative efforts, including fully searchable databases, can be accessed via the Symbiota web portal mainainted by the Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria (CNALH):