Small Collections Grant

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Digitization of the Warren Wilson College Herbarium

Amy E. Boyd


Digitally image, Other

Cost: $



Warren Wilson College's Herbarium


Our objectives are: (a) to acquire and set up the equipment for capturing digital images of WWC’s herbarium specimens, and (b) to train students and staff in digitization techniques and begin the process of digitizing our collection and adding images to our entries in the SERNEC database.


We are currently in the process of adding our collection to the online database of the Southeastern Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (SERNEC), which will make our collection much more accessible and usable not only for students and faculty at our institution but make the collection data accessible globally. We would very much like to include digital images to our collection data, as digital images make it possible to gather data from the collection remotely, but the equipment needed for this project is beyond our institution’s meager resources. My students and I have used specimen images available online from other herbaria for numerous research projects, and wish to be able to contribute to this network of available digital specimen data buy digitizing our own herbarium.
I will purchase the equipment and set up the digitization station in a small research lab next to our herbarium. I will train and supervise an existing staff member and team of student workers who are already in charge of entering specimen data into the SERNEC database. This team will do most of the imaging and digitization of specimens and upload them to our SERNEC database.


Our timeline is based on estimates and information from Harris & Marisco (2017). The acquisition, set-up and training would be complete by December 2020. We estimate that digitizing the entire collection would take approximately 2 years of student labor and could be completed by December 2022.
Spring 2020: Purchase equipment and set up digital imaging system
Summer 2020: Training of staff/faculty on digitization techniques; apply for matching funds through the Work College Consortium
Fall 2020: Training of student workers on digitization techniques; begin capturing and uploading digital images to the SERNEC database
December 2022: Goal date for completion of collection digitization

Referee 1:

David Clarke

Referee 2:

Zack E. Murrell

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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