Small Collections Grant

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Back to the future: collection repairing and barcoding in a historical herbarium at Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Livia Echternacht


Database, Conserve

Cost: $



Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP)


Our objectives are:
1) To barcode all the OUPR collection;
2) To adopt barcoding as a permanent tool to facilitate all types of work that are routinely conducted in a herbarium;
3) To repair all exsiccates that have conservation issues (e.g. damaged sheets, loose plant parts, and insect attacks) aiming to digitize the entire collection.


The OUPR holds the third (1892) and the fifth (1900) oldest collections in Brazil with 35,000 specimens. They are databased using BRAHMS and the data can be accessed at However, most of the OUPR collection does not have a barcode. Since 2019, barcodes have been printed directly on the label of the new exsiccates incorporated into the herbarium, but approximately 98% of its collection do not have barcodes.
This project intends to barcode all the herbarium specimens of the collection. The order to barcode the specimens will follow the organization of the plants in the cabinets: (1) Fungi, Algae and Bryophytes, (2) Ferns and Lycophytes, (3) Monocotyledons, (4) Eudicotyledons, (5) Basal Angiosperms, and (6) nomenclatural types.
A significant part of the OUPR collection is old and requires proper repairs, mounting paper replacement, and cleaning. Fumigation is carried out annually, the herbarium is in a climatized room, and humidity is controlled. Despite all efforts, mold and insects have already caused damage to the specimens and some of them needed special repairing. Therefore, specimens will be scrutinized and repaired if needed (to meet conservation standards) at the same time as barcoding. Two technicians of the OUPR staff shall dedicate 10 hours per week to this project.
Barcoding is an important step for the implementation of a virtual collection. We expect that barcoding will facilitate online access to the historical and recent collections of OUPR.


Stages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Purchase of equipment (printer, barcode
reader and external HD) X
Fungi, Algae and Bryophytes Processing*1 X
Ferns and Lycophytes Processing*1 X X
Monocotyledons Processing*1 X X X
Eudicotyledons Processing*1 X X X X
Basal Angiosperm families Processing*1 X
Type Specimens Processing*1 X
Data checking and error correction X

*1: all herbarium specimens will be scrutinized to evaluate their integrity (repair techniques will be carried out if necessary) and a barcode will be generated and attached in each of them.

Referee 1:

Marc Pignal

Referee 2:

Rafaela Campostrini Forzza

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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