Small Collections Grant

This page is used to provide assessment scores for the grant. Please use the rubric below the grant details

to enter your assessment score

Digitizing and Conserving The Ruth O'Brien Herbarium

Lauren Snyder

United States

Database, Digitally image, Process backlog, Conserve

Cost: $



The Ruth O'Brien Herbarium at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi


The herbarium, due to a period of neglect, suffers from extensive insect damage. Currently, curators are working to amend and prevent future damage before digitization begins in spring 2020. As this collection is made more accessible through digitization it is extremely important that the actual physical specimens be properly preserved. This grant would be used to finance part of the conservation aspect of this project. Specifically, new cabinets needed to isolate the affected, prevent future infestations and store new specimens.


Each specimen has been thoroughly examined for insect eggs and larvae. A paintbrush was then used to remove the insect excrement and dirt. The specimens were then sealed in an autoclave bag and put in one of our three cabinets that seal. We are halfway done and almost out of room in our sealing cabinets, the rest are going to be put back in the wooden cabinets. The final step is freezing the bags at -20C for two weeks after which the specimens will remain in the autoclave bags until digitization.


Fall 2019: Specimens are examined for damage and quarantined in sealed plastic bags until all specimens can be frozen
January-March 2020: packaged specimines are frozen for 2 weeks and kept in sealed bags until herbarium pests are eliminated
March 2020: digitization of herbarium specimens begins
April 2020: quarantining and mounting of backlogged specimens begins
May 2020: The herbarium should be operating smoothly as digitization and mounting of backlogged specimens continues.

Referee 1:

Barnabas Daru

Referee 2:

Lauren Snyder

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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