Small Collections Grant

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New steel cabinets to protect the irreplaceable plant specimens at the Ruth O’Brien Herbarium

Barnabas Daru

United States

Process backlog, Conserve

Cost: $


IH Code

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi


The Ruth O’Brien Herbarium is a small herbarium with about 11,000 specimens affiliated at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. The herbarium has specimens that are representative of the coastal bend region especially of the plants in Nueces county. The Ruth O’Brien herbarium also houses specimens from across the country, special collections from the Padre Island National Sea Shore and algae from Vera Cruz and Quintana Roo Mexico. Although a small facility, it plays key roles in teaching and research.
Due to a long period of neglect, the herbarium has suffered extensive insect pest damage.


A new steel cabinet costs US$1575.00 plus shipping. We are looking to purchase the single door full height cabinet from Aurora Storage.


In the summer of 2019 herbarium curators started with freezing infested specimens to kill insects. Half of the specimens have been cleaned of insects, but we are running out of space in the only three good cabinets in the herbarium. Currently, the method we use to Isolate the specimens is by sealing them in Autoclave bags. We have also received a grant to begin digitization from September 2019 and will begin digitizing specimens in spring 2020.

Referee 1:

Barbara Thiers

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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