Small Collections Grant

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Implementing conservation management and access of Agricultural and Forest herbaria: the case of FIAF

Federico Selvi


Database, Digitally image, Conserve

Cost: $


IH Code

University of Firenze


The first aim of the project is to complete the data-basing of all vascular plants specimens in FIAF (ca. 43.000) for a more effective conservation management. This work started 12 years ago but could not be completed. At that time, specimens were not barcoded. So, we want to assign BarCode numbers to all specimens. Secondly, we want to digitize all the “original material” specimens and all samples of family Boraginaceae collected by F. Selvi and associates from 1995 to date (these are currently part of the collection FIAF-HB). We aim at making all data accessible on-line.


The work will be mainly performed by the herbarium technician Dr. Laura Vivona, who has a permanent position at the University of Firenze. Dr. Vivona has a long experience and a deep knowledge of the Herbarium collections in FIAF. She will be assisted by other selected persons, mainly Master Degree students provisionally employed for this task. The work will be done under the supervision of Prof. F. Selvi, Curator and Responsible of FIAF. Each specimen will be first checked for identity and conservation status. Then, all collection details in the label will be written in the electronic DB (File Maker Pro or Excel). A barcode number will be generated and assigned to each specimen, attaching the label to the herbarium sheet. For this purpose we can use a Thermal label printer GoDEX RT200 that is already available but still not in use. In addition, all “original material” specimens potentially useful for typification purposes will be identified, scanned and digitized. The same will be done for all specimens of Boraginaceae family now kept in the separate collection FIAF-HB, many of which have been used and referred to in scientific publications by F. Selvi and associates. Scanning will be performed with a high resolution flat-bed scan device to be purchased for this project. Ideally a HerbScan system will be used for this purpose. If not available, an alternative system will be used.


We estimate that this project will take approximately 24 months of work (two years), considering that the involved persons can not be employed full time on this. Around 21.000 specimens are to be databased. Considering that, on average, around 40 specimens per day can be processed, we estimate that ca. 500 days are needed to complete the work. The data-basing and barcode labelling will be made simultaneously for each specimen, while the scanning and digitization will be made at periodical intervals of time for a set of specimens selected during the previous steps.

Referee 1:

Chiara Nepi

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:


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