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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Harris , Kari Megan [1], Marsico, Travis [2].

Digitizing Specimens in a Small Herbarium: A Viable Workflow for Collections Working with Limited Resources .

Small herbaria represent a significant portion of herbaria in the United States, but many are not digitizing. Of those that are digitizing, many are not yet making their data widely available. In the Arkansas State University (STAR) herbarium we have annotated all Arkansas specimens to update their nomenclature and imaged the 18,000 Arkansas collections accessioned. Students averaged 150 specimens per hour during the annotation and imaging stages, allowing the entire collection to be imaged in a little over a semester. We are currently databasing the collection in using Specify 6.5, and students are averaging 30 specimens per hour. So far, this project has taken 2 semesters and we have completed 10,000 specimens. In the coming months these data will be made available through larger database portals as well as a local website component specific to the STAR Herbarium. As a small herbarium with limited resources, the implementation methodology described by our effort should assist curators of similar sized collections as they undertake the digitization process. At Arkansas State University, digitization efforts have gotten us far more than just a digitized collection. Through the process of digitizing the STAR herbarium, student interest in collections has been sparked across the campus. We now have an on-campus student organization, collaboration with the computer science department, and the possibility of a certificate program in museum curation which would be housed in the biological sciences department. We hope that other universities with small but significant collections will undertake similar methods to encourage student enthusiasm and involvement in the curation of natural history collections. 

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1 - Arkansas State University, Biological Sciences/Marsico Lab, PO Box 299, State University, AR, 72467, USA
2 - Arkansas State University, Department Of Biological Sciences, PO Box 599, State University, AR, 72467, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 4
Location: Payette/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: 4003
Abstract ID:193
Candidate for Awards:None

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