Led by the California Academy of Sciences, HerpNET is a collaborative effort by institutions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico to establish a network between databases of herpetological collections in natural history museums, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF No. 0132303). Currently, 43 institutions are participating in the HerpNET community, with an open-ended invitation to institutions who would like to join. At present, 18 institutions are available for searching on the Data Portal. The mission of HerpNET is to bring the accumulated knowledge from ca. 3.7 million specimens in museum collections into currency for science and society by creating a distributed database with access from various portals. HerpNET will connect large repositories of information with smaller collections that have regional specializations. Similar efforts have been or are being accomplished for other taxa or regions and the herpetological community is poised to make its own contribution to the study of biodiversity. HerpNET will further advance the biodiversity tools available for biodiversity and environmental science, and will educate the next generation of biodiversity scientists. It will bring together scientists from diverse institutions and offer the opportunity to cross train in information technology, natural history collections, systematics and biodiversity science in general.