Small Collections Grant

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Digitization strengthening of TEF herbarium collection for data sharing and conservation management improvement

Razzafimandimby Harizoly


Database, Digitally image, Conserve

Cost: $



National Center for Research Applied to Rural Development (FOFIFA) - Department of Forest Research and Natural Resources Management


Created in 1948, TEF herbarium of FOFIFA-DRFGRN contains around 70 000 herbarium specimens, 2 400 wood samples and 1 100 samples of seeds or flowers preserved in alcohol. These samples constitute reference specimens for identification and study of woody plants from Madagascar. The overall goal of TEF is to contribute to improving knowledge of plant biodiversity by facilitating access to the information represented by the collections while ensuring their conservation. In this sense, this project aims to strengthen the digitization of TEF herbarium specimens.


Digitization is an option to conjugate conservation and enhancement of herbarium specimens since it help to reduce the frequency of handling specimens. It facilitates users’ access to specimens via online data sharing and is a helpful for collection management because of the existence of a database. TEF has been digitizing its collection using BRAHMS software since 2010. Due to the lack of staff in the herbarium, we have to resort to project support to speed up the digitization. 12 000 specimens were digitized as part of the project Sud expert Plantes 218 (2010 - 2011) and the CherMada project of the SEP2D program (Sud Expert Plantes Développement Durable) aims to digitize 15 000 specimens (2017 - March 2020). Support through the SCG will allow us to digitize around 16,000 more specimens. To achieve the objective assigned to this project, we plan the following activities:
- Recruitment of 2 agents for digitization
- Training / refreshing on BRAHMS software uses
- Digitization of specimens: tiping of informations contained in herbarium labels, barcoding and imagining
- Purchase of a computer to store and consultation the internal database
- Online data sharing on the GBIF website (
TEF has some materials as barcode scanner and camera equipment for digitization.


- April 2020 :
• Recruitement of 2 agents for digitization
• Purchase of a computer
• Training / refreshing on BRAHMS software uses
- Mai 2020 – April 2021 : Digitization and barcoding
- Every three months (july, october 2020 and January, April 2021) : Online data sharing

Referee 1:


Referee 2:


Scoring Rubric

Your name:

Collection Improvement/Maintenance


1.  Contribution to the generation of digital herbarium data (digitization: data entry, setting up database structure, purchasing equipment).

2.  Contribution to enhancing our understanding of the flora by making new herbarium specimens available (processing of backlog).

3.  Contribution to enhancing our understanding of the flora by making new herbarium specimens available (shipping endangered collection to another herbarium).

4. Contribution towards improving conservation status of specimens in herbarium (better folders, protecting covers, mounting paper, labeling, etc.).

This proposal scores:


IAPT community building


5.  Herbarium's potential for success.

6.  Perceived need, extent to which the project will benefit from IAPT funding.
7. Sharing specimens with other herbaria.

This proposal scores:


Broader Impacts

8. The project will yield durable benefits (specimens, digitized metadata, databases, websites).

9. The proposed project involves outreach/mentoring and broad dissemination.

This proposal scores:


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