Small Collections Grant

This page is used to provide assessment scores for the grant. Please use the rubric below the grant details

to enter your assessment score

Upgrading Frenguelli’s diatom collection: digitization to improve availability by the scientific community

José María Guerrero


Database, Digitally image

Cost: $


IH Code

División Ficología - Museo de La Plata


The phycological herbarium (LPC) of Museo de La Plata, Argentina, holds about 17,000 specimens. The diatom collection gathered during the first half of the 20th century by Joaquín Frenguelli (1883-1958), a pioneer of diatom studies in South America, is the most relevant and constitutes a primary reference for worldwide diatomists. This project aims to capture digital images of the type specimens, to digitize the original illustrations and taxonomic cards, and to generate a database to be published at the museum website.


The Frenguelli Collection consists of 2,435 permanent microscope slides, mainly from samples from Argentina, Chile and Antarctica and includes the type materials of 459 taxa. Diatom specimens contained in the slides to be designated as types will be searched with a light microscope equipped with DIC optics. The position of the specimens selected will be recorded with an England finder graticule and images will be captured with a microscope digital camera.
The paper materials will be digitized with a performant scanner following standardized protocols for historic documents. The documents comprise 1,500 original illustrations (accompanied by handwritten annotations and, occasionally, by light microscope images) and the associated handwritten taxonomic cards with the bibliographic references used by Frenguelli for the identification of each taxon.
All digital files will be assigned a primary key (ID) that uniquely identifies each record. In a first step all data will be loaded in a computer-based spreadsheet following Darwin Core standard. In a second step a relational database will be designed by a computer expert to facilitate the management and sharing of information. Finally, the database will be published online in the official website of the Museo de La Plata, and eventually in other global biodiversity networks, to ensure full availability by the scientific community.
Periodic revisions of datasets will be carried out during this process to warrant high data quality.


The proposed project is scheduled to be completed in three years and includes 9 activities:
1. Recording the position of the type specimens in the slides with an England finder graticule: Years 1 and 2.
2. Capturing of images of the specimens with a microscope digital camera: Years 1 and 2.
3. Scanning of original illustrations: Year 2.
4. Scanning of taxonomic cards: Years 2 and 3 (first half).
5. Loading of information in a computer-based spreadsheet: Years 1, 2 and Year 3 (first half).
6. Design of database: Year 2.
7. Migration of data to the database: Year 3.
8. Publishing of database on the website: Year 3 (second half).
9. Periodic revision of dataset: Every 3 months, throughout the entire period.

Referee 1:

John Patrick Kociolek

Referee 2:

Referee name

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:


Donate to IAPT when you shop on Amazon

Unless otherwise specified, content on this website is licensed under Creative Commons CC-BY. Please see our Terms of Use for more information.