Small Collections Grant

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Specimen backlog digitization and processing in the DE herbarium

Attila Takács


Database, Digitally image, Process backlog

Cost: $



University of Debrecen, Department of Botany


The DE collection consists of approximately 90.000 specimens. Tens of thousands of specimens (collected before 2014) have been digitized and databased ( ; However, thousands of our recently collected items remained unprocessed. Now, we plan the complete processing (i.e. mounting, labelling, scanning, databasing) of specimens from our backlog and the incorporation of these materials to the main collection of DE.


How do you plan to meet these objective/s? (1500 characters)
The workflow will be controlled by the applicant. The tasks will be completed by students and trainees.
0) Preliminary survey of the backlog materials. Determination, taxonomical revision, nomenclatural correction (if necessary).
1) Dry plants – currently stored between newspaper – are placed on sheets. Folding paper bags (capsules) for crashed, falling fragments (petals, seeds, fruits etc.) and small plant individuals.
2) Mounting the plants (and capsules) on the sheets with waxed paper straps.
3) Collection data entry from the field note labels to MS Excel spreadsheet. Editing, printing and mounting the corresponding labels on the sheets.
4) Numbering and arrangement the sheets based on the reference taxon list (Jávorka S. (1925): Flora Hungarica).
5) Imaging the sheets, with overhead scanner.
6) Decontamination of the specimens (deep freezing).
7) Incorporating the specimens in the main collection.
8) Incorporating the metadata in the database of DE collection. Joining the scanned image file names and the database (spreadsheet) records.


2020 March-April: preliminary survey of the backlog materials
2020 May-July: mounting, labelling, numbering and arrangement of the specimens
2020 September: scanning the specimens
2020 October: decontamination and incorporation of the specimens in the collection
2020 November-December: incorporation of the metadata in the database of DE (incl. joining the scanned image file names and the database records)

Referee 1:

Lajos Balogh (SAMU)

Referee 2:

Zoltán Barina (BP)

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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