Small Collections Grant

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Improving the collection preservation and processing specimen backlog at ICH herbarium

Masoomeh Ghobad-Nejhad

Iran

Process backlog, Conserve

Cost: $

2000

ICH

Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST)

Objective:

Before settlement at IROST, ICH samples were moved several times. Part of the collection has been alphabetically sorted inside plastic drawers/boxes, but access to the rest is difficult because they are stacked, unordered, and are without envelopes.
Although ICH still lacks camera-microscopy and digitization facilities, however, the most urgent problem is the unordered specimens and unsuitable situation of preservation of TYPE/reference material. This project aims to improve the situation with specimen backlog in ICH and to develop the preservation of critical specimens.

Plan:

To tackle the above problem in the Iranian Cryptogamic Herbarium, we need to afford 2 fire-resistant storage racks for the most critical specimens in the first stage, and to provide good quality acid-free envelopes. The ICH Herbarium contains ca. 20K lichens and wood macrofungi from Iran, specimen duplicates from various countries, TYPEs of the species described by the curators, and ca. 1000 samples collected from other countries. This project will target to organize ca. 4K specimens.
Currently, there are basic types of equipment including 1 phase contrast and 2 light microscopes, and two small stereomicroscopes. One MSc and three PhD students do their studies using ICH collection, and 3 more have already been graduated. The physical area is fine and is also subject to increase in the upcoming years. Most of the specimens have been databased/numbered in Access format. In this project, four thousand specimens are targeted to be organized and sorted within a one-year schedule, so that they will be easily accessible for research community. Firstly, the Access file is completed and the labels are controlled and finally printed. Good quality envelops are prepared, and labels are glued. Specimens are matched with labelled envelopes. Fire-resistant storage racks are provided and enveloped specimens are sorted first by group (lichen, lichenicolous/fungi, aphyllophore, agaric, TYPEs) and then alphabetically by genus and placed inside racks.The project will be executed in one year.

Timetable:

1- Completion of the Access file, check and printing the labels (2 months)
2- Preparation of envelops, gluing the labels (2 months)
3- Matching specimens with labeled envelopes (3 months)
4- Specimen assort, placement inside racks (5 months)
Total: 12 months

Referee 1:

Dr. Christian Printzen

Referee 2:

Dr. Sergio Pérez Ortega

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:

/60

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:

/20

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:

/20

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