Small Collections Grant

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Improving the digitization and management of reference collections of The Bogota Botanical Garden Herbarium

Ángela Teresa Rodríguez


Digitally image, Conserve

Cost: $



Jardín Botánico de Bogotá


• Upload the non-vascular plant collections to the JBB herbarium website, based on the photography of 300 specimens of bryophytes and lichens, which are curated, systematized and included at the JBB herbarium.
• Set up a protocol for digitization of non-vascular plant collections of the JBB herbarium.
• Improve the specimen digitization of at least 1000 new vascular plants, according to the protocols established by the JBB herbarium.
• Enhance the control of environment qualities for specimen conservation, through the monitoring of the physical factors of collection areas.


The JBB herbarium has an annual goal of digitizing and uploading 4000 specimens to the website. The aim of this project is to contribute up to 1000 of these specimens of vascular plants and upload photos of 300 non-vascular plants. The bryophytes and lichens will be prepared by experts, who will take between 5 and 10 photos per specimen, following protocols from scientific references, using a stereo microscope with camera to focus on the main details. The number of photos will depend on the morphological characters for the identification of each group (bryophytes and lichens). The editing of specimen imaging, cataloguing, label data transcription and digitization will be standardized for each group. This protocol will be submitted to the Scientific Subdirector to include in the official entity procedures. Also, to ensure quality photos for the 1000 vascular plant samples, we will use a lightbox following the protocols of the JBB herbarium. Further, the use of a QR Code Reader will be necessary to track the location of each specimen in the process, from mounting to the inclusion in the collection.
Because some collections at the JBB herbarium are located underground, environmental factors are difficult to manage. For this reason, it will be necessary to monitor the temperature and relative humidity daily, using a Datalogger. In case of these factors being out of range, the contingency protocol, designed recently by the staff, will be employed.


This project will be developed in ten months, working on seven major activities to complete the specific objectives. The schedule is described as follows:
Activity 1: Revision of several scientific references and preparation of non-vascular specimens for photography (Month 1).
Activity 2: Photography of 40 non-vascular plants specimens per month (Months 2-8). Photography of 20 non-vascular plants (Month 9).
Activity 3: Standardize and validate a protocol for non-vascular plants digitization at the JBB herbarium (Months 1-5).
Activity 4: Photography and digitization of 125 vascular plants samples per month (Months 2-8).
Activity 5: Systematization, updating and uploading information of vascular and non-vascular specimens to the website (Months 2-9).
Activity 6: Monitoring temperature and relative humidity on collections areas, daily. Data analysis of monitoring to evaluate the application of contingency protocol, weekly (Months 2-10).
Activity 7: Submit the protocol for non-vascular plants digitization at the JBB herbarium to the Scientific Subdirector of the Bogotá Botanical Garden. Submit the technical report to the IAPT (Month 10).

Referee 1:

Jaime Uribe

Referee 2:

David Harris

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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