The Internet and its concomitant technologies have led to a revolution in both the storage and distribution of scientific information. Research data, publications, teaching materials and digital images are now routinely made available via the web. However, as anyone who owns a large 35 mm slide collection knows, storing and retrieving images presents a special challenge. Few images fit into just one easily identifiable category, necessitating either an extensive cross referencing system or serious compromises. For example, it is unlikely that a taxonomist, ecologist and morphologist would file and/or search identical image collections in the same way. Making images available via the web further compounds the problem since it is impossible to “thumb through” large collections all at once. Therefore, most web based image collections are presented as a series of pages the user must drill down through. However, no matter how well these pages are organized, cross referenced and indexed, they may not meet the needs of every potential user. Web based digital image databases, which allow images to be retrieved via keywords, provide a more convenient and flexible way to serve up digital images. Such a database requires minimal maintenance and virtually no web authoring. The author need only add images and key words to the database as it grows. Each user is essentially a web author, generating their own personal web pages “on the fly”. The construction of a web based digital image database, requiring absolutely no knowledge of programming, will be demonstrated. An example of such a database is available at:

Key words: computer, database, digital images, internet, teaching