Small Collections Grant

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Digitization of Herbarium of Ivo and Marija Horvat (ZAHO), Croatia

Ivana Rešetnik


Database, Digitally image

Cost: $



University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology


One of small but important collections hosting valuable material from species rich Balkan Peninsula is Herbarium of Ivo and Marija Horvat (ZAHO) located at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. It stores approximately 70 000 specimens collected by Ivo Horvat throughout the Balkans. It also includes type specimens as Horvat described several new species. As the material is not frequently used in research, the main objective of the project is to database and digitize herbarium specimens, thus making them freely available for research worldwide.


The digitization of ZAHO started in 2014. The systematisation and digitization is done through a national botanical database, Flora Croatica Database ( Moreover, all processed specimens are freely available through the Herbarium Croaticum web portal ( The systematisation starts with the transcription of metadata found on herbarium label, followed by georeferencing of collection localities. Then a digital image is taken with the help of an upside-down A3 scanner, Epson Expression 11000XL. We have all necessary equipment and thus far 4564 specimens have been databased and 1227 of them are digitized. Within the project we plan to employ a biology student to accelerate digitization efforts. The work on digitization pipeline will include: 1) mounting of herbarium specimens, 2) data management (transcribing the herbarium labels, storing metadata into publicly accessible database, georeferencing localities from herbarium labels) and 3) scanning of the herbarium specimens. As an added project value, we plan to additionally publish digitized specimens in GBIF database thus providing visibility and enhancing usage of the collection. The project outcome will include: 1) several thousands of digitized herbarium specimens stored in three freely accessible database with all specimen metadata and images, 2) the involved biology student receiving training in specimen preparation, digitization procedure and collections care.


The project will start in April 2020 and finish by December 2020. The potential employee on the project will be chosen among interested biology students with some prior knowledge in systematic botany and nomenclature in order to facilitate accurate workflow. As the work will be done by a student, a maximal 20 hours per week is proposed. The workload will be divided in two parts, from April to June 2020, and from September to December 2020, in accordance with student’s semester activities and herbarium staff responsibilities during vegetation season (July to August 2020). Herbarium curators will supervise all work and will conduct the final check of all processed herbarium specimens.

Referee 1:

Beata Papp

Referee 2:

Jernej Jogan

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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