Small Collections Grant

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Digitizing the Paul Huth Herbarium Collection

Elizabeth Long, PhD

United States of America

Digitally image

Cost: $



Mohonk Preserve, Inc.


Mohonk Preserve seeks to digitize and improve access to the Paul Huth Herbarium Collection (1974-1988). The herbarium contains 300 plant specimens, including 80 species new to our holdings, most notably ferns and grasses. We have received an Institute of Museum & Library Services grant to digitize the extensive natural history observations and herbarium of naturalist Daniel Smiley (1907-1989), but the Huth Collection was acquired only recently and is not part of that project. Together, the two collections provide a comprehensive sampling of Shawangunk Ridge species over almost 100 years.


We will digitize the herbarium and upload the images, label transcriptions, and metadata to Symbiota, an open-access digital repository supported by the National Science Foundation and iDigBio Program. We will follow protocols and workflow established in the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) grant. We consulted with staff at iDigBio, Symbiota, and the New York Botanical Garden when creating our work plan. Key tasks will include:

o Transcribe labels into existing database (specimens have been barcoded)
o Annotate specimens with current taxonomy
o Make minor repairs (remounting, new labels, etc.)
o Integrate into main collection (organized taxonomically)
o Create digital image using IMLS-funded equipment
o Upload image, label and metadata to Symbiota

The digitization work will be performed by Jordan Williams, a part-time Digitization Technician hired through the IMLS grant. Ms. Williams earned a bachelor’s in Biology from Florida State University, Tallahassee and has experience with herbaria and iDigBio. She will devote 125 hours over ten months to the Huth Herbarium. Hours per month will vary. These hours will not be covered by IMLS. Ms. Williams will report to Natalie Feldsine, Research Collection & Citizen Science Coordinator. Oversight will also be provided by Elizabeth Long, PhD, Director of Conservation Science, who will serve as Principal Investigator. Citizen science volunteers being trained for the IMLS grant may also assist with the Huth project.


Month 1: Digitization Technician, works 40 hours (85 remaining)
• Hold project kickoff meeting to review project work plan and protocols
• Transcribe label data into pre-formatted existing database.

Month 2: Digitization Technician works 20 hours (65 remaining)
• Annotate specimens with current taxonomy
• Make minor repairs to specimens
• Sort specimens and integrate into main collection.

Months 3-10: Digitization Technician works 65 hours (0 remaining)
• Create digital images
• Project team meets regularly to assess progress and to conduct quality checks
• Upload image, label transcriptions and metadata to Symbiota database (2 hours/week for 7-8 months).

Month 4: The project team will coordinate with the Preserve’s two-person Communications team to create and release an e-newsletter article publicizing the digitization effort.

Month 5: The project team will lead a public program in the form of a plant walk / citizen science botany blitz (specimen collection event) to publicize the digitization efforts.

Month 10: The project team concludes its project evaluation and coordinates with the Preserve’s Grants Manager to prepare and submit a final grant report to IAPT.

Referee 1:

Bill Schuster

Referee 2:

Natasza Fontaine

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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