The present-day demand for digital availability of distributional data in biodiversity studies requires a special effort in assembling and editing the data otherwise scattered in paper literature and herbarium collections, which can be poorly accessible or little understood to present-day users and especially automatic data processors. Although the vascular plants of Murmansk Region (northern part of European Russia) are well studied and represented in publications, the accessibility of this knowledge is highly insufficient. The most widely known source is the Flora of Murmansk Region (published in 1953–1966), which remains in use because of its high original quality, detailed elaboration and completeness. We consider digitising this source to be of primary importance in biodiversity studies in the Arctic Region because of its point occurrence maps, which were based on the comprehensive inventory of contemporary herbarium collections.
We have compiled a dataset based on 554 printed point occurrence maps of species distributions published in the Flora of Murmansk Region, which includes 25,555 records of georeferenced plant occurrences that belong to 1,073 species and 5 hybrids. The occurrences are ultimately based on herbarium specimens kept at KPABG and LE, which were collected during 1837–1965. We estimate that these specimens represent ca. 60% of the current global herbarium holdings originated from Murmansk Region; this means that the dataset gives a fair representation of the regional flora.