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

Updating digital database and processing specimen backlog using interns.

Rina Fabiola Díaz


Digitally image, Process backlog

Cost: $



Paul C. Standley Herbarium, Pan American Agricultural School/Zamorano University


The Paul Standley Herbarium has a skeleton staff of one and maintenance budget limited to utilities and cleaning supplies. We are part of Zamorano University, but the collections have never been a University priority. Over 70 years a series of prominent researchers has built up a collection that includes about a thousand types among the roughly 200,000 catalogued specimens. We have the only about 1% currently digitized. With approximately a thousand new arrivals each year, the new material is being processed, but we have made few inroads into the backlog or digitalization.


I propose to involve the use of interns to help process the inventory. Interns can work five days a week but it is necessary to have funds to provide $ 250 per month to help cover the transportation and lunch expenses of the interns. There are about 5000 pending samples to process, between unmounted material and specimens that have not been entered into the database. In addition, only 1% (types) are digitized.
This collection is the most valuable in Central America and has tools for maintaining it through controlled climate conditions, herbarium cabinets, and fumigation by freezing. However, this material is largely inaccessible to researchers outside the country due to extremely cumbersome and slow processing of permits for shipments. Making more material available in digital form will greatly increase the usefulness of the collections. The EAP herbarium has the specimens and the appropriate scanning equipment for digitization; however, it lacks the labor force. In this sense, an active internship program would help to replicate efforts focused on the digitalization of the material and thus increase the accessibility of the collections.


We can process about 2000 of the backlog in the coming year with 2 interns for a total of 8 months, so that each intern works four months. While this is unlikely to completely disappear the backlog, it will make significant inroads. Exact progress will depend on which material gets prioritized, in one week a person can process around 200 samples. Currently, it is estimated that 1840 samples require prior assembly and labeling, while just over 3000 specimens should be entered into the BRAHMS database, the software currently used by this herbarium.

Referee 1:

Gerrit Davidse

Referee 2:

Lilian Ferrufino

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.