Small Collections Grant

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Curating and Digitizing the Hendrix College Cryptogamic Herbarium

Adam Schneider

United States of America

Database, Digitally image, Conserve

Cost: $



Hendrix College


The Hendrix College Herbarium has approximately 6600 accessions dating back to the 1940s, including bryophytes, lichens, fungi, marine algae, and vascular plants. Funds are requested to digitize and modernize the curation of the 300-350 research-grade cryptogamic collections, which are in various stages of disarray. Any additional funds will go towards supporting our mounting and accessioning our backlog of regional tracheophyte collections that are labeled but unmounted. These are primarily from county floras done in the 1960s-1980s.


Funding is primarily requested to hire an undergraduate student worker to carry out these tasks under my direct supervision at Hendrix College. Facilities, equipment, and most supplies are already available, but purchasing additional bryophyte packets and mounting glue is necessary. The student will work up to 170 hours at $10/hr (the standardized wage for student workers, including payroll tax), either 15 hours per week for 11 weeks in the summer, or 5 hours per week for the entire school year.

After the cryptogamic specimens are properly curated and records entered into our web-based database the student and I will travel to the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission herbarium in Little Rock to use their designated imaging station. (See timeline.) This is most cost-effective than purchasing new equipment.

I anticipate that the entire cryptogamic collection can be digitized, at which point remaining funds will be used to address a mounting backlog of tracheophytes that date to the 1960s. herbarium consortium, beginning with bryophytes, then lichens, algae, and macrofungi. Specifically, the cryptogamic collection includes 157 identified bryophytes, dating to the 1930s, approximately 18 lichens, 13 macrofungi, 140 macroalgae, and approximately 40 unidentified bryophytes, all with research-grade labels. The unmounted tracheophytes include several hundred labeled collections still in newspaper, mostly from various regional (county) flora projects with no known duplicates.


I will recruit a student worker in the spring of 2020 to begin work immediately and continuing through the summer or depending on their availability begin in August and continue through the academic year (spring 2021). The project is divided into three phases:

PHASE 1: In the first 1-2 months, we will print new bryophyte labels onto archival paper, move specimens to archival-quality packets from deteriorating glassine or wax envelopes, and re-file according to updated taxonomy. Then, barcodes (already printed) will be added to each sheet and label data added to the SERNEC database, the regional consortium that hosts our specimen records.

PHASE 2: Time and funds permitting, the second 2 months or so will be spent processing our backlog of tracheophyte collections from several flora projects.

PHASE 3: The final phase will involve two day-trips to the specimen imaging station at the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission herbarium to take digital photos of each of these specimens and link them with the previously databased records. Following imaging, specimens will be frozen and interfiled with the existing collection in standard herbarium cabinets.

Referee 1:

Travis Marsico

Referee 2:

Theo Witsell

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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