The Herbaria of the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science (ZA and ZAHO) are a source of information for national and international botanical community. Herbarium specimens and their labels are both a source of information for taxonomic work and the evidence that remains after such work is published (voucher specimens). Storing specimens permanently and making them accessible to taxonomists, the primary users, and to other users, under the general regulations on property rights are the main objectives of curation.
We are well aware of the present-day demands for fast access to specimens and the information they contain; and also of the importance of accurate data management and storage. With that in mind, a firm policy has been developed to database all specimens in Flora Croatica Database, and make this data available online for free.
Imaging / Digitalisation
Image capture of herbarium specimens at ZA and ZAHO uses A3 Epson Expression 11000XL scanner with an inverted stand. The scanner was donated by Epson within the Case study project “PMF Herbarium: Digitalisation of the National Treasure”.
The specimens are digitized with the measurement scale and Colour & Grayscale Targets. The image filenames are the IDs of the specimen(s).
ZA has a large number of specimens of the Croatian flora as a result of many decades of expeditions and field work of numerous Croatian and European botanists. In 2014, the collecting field trips were resumed after decades of inactivity. The objective is to collect species that are either poorly represented or not represented at all in the Collection.
The mounting of the specimens started in 2015. The mounting had thus far not been in practice in ZA and ZAHO herbaria, therefore the backlog for mounting is substantial. The problem is now being addressed with new staff members and practical work performed by the Biology students at the Faculty of Science. Procedures for both mounting and conservation follow standard herbarium practices and procedures.
For decades DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) was used for pest control. After decades of inactivity because of its declared toxicity, new procedures were implemented in 2015. All materials go through cold treatment before entering the herbarium.
Cold treatment: two periods of 48 hrs at -18°C, being let to thaw for 24 hrs in-between. The specimens are placed in thick well-sealed plastic bags. For that purpose, a domestic freezer is used.