Florida Museum of Natural History

University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS)

Estimated Cost of University of Florida Herbarium Services and Supplies

The staff of the University of Florida Herbarium should be consulted before committing our collection-related services in grant projects. The following is a good-faith estimate for specimen processing and storage costs. These estimates are subject to reevaluation, so be sure to contact our collections staff before finalizing your proposal's budget.

Service/SuppliesNotesEst. Cost
Specimen preparationThe figures below are for properly pressed specimens provided with labels. The cost of specimen collection, drying and labeling will need to be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with herbarium staff. Please review Collection Acquisition Checklist for Collectors for collection preparation standards. 
Mounting paperHerbarium Supply Co.: #105 - 100%rag, Univ. of Calif. type, unbuffered. 11 1/2 X 16 1/2 with shipping$0.37 per sheet
GlueBookmakers: Jade 403 PVA, ca. 1335 sheets per gallon / ca. $50 per gallon$0.04 per sheet
Genus coversHerbarium Supply Co.: #133 - University of So. Calif. type, manila (ca. 76.25 per 100 with shipping) and various colors (ca. $93 per 100 with shipping). Avg. 6 sheets per cover.$0.06 per sheet
Species foldersHerbarium Supply Co.: #160 - Species Covers; Archival Quality Manila - Caliper .006. 16-1/2 x 23-1/8 inches. Scored once in the center and folded to 16-1/2 x 11-9/16 inches. Carton packed in 100s. (ca. $22.67 per 100 with shipping). Avg. 6 sheets per cover.$0.04 per sheet
White gummed cloth tapeHerbarium Supply Co.: #281 1"X 200 yd. / #282 2"X 200 yd. Estimated use of one roll per 3000 sheets.$0.05 per sheet
Plant mountingavg 4 sheets per hour
College Federal Work Study* students @ 25% of $9.30 per hour= $2.33 per hour
Regular OPS @ $9.30 per hour
CFWS = $0.58 per sheet or
 OPS = $2.33 per sheet
Bulky specimen storageBulky specimens requiring boxes and special preparation will require additional funds. E.g., palm specimens require extra materials for preparation and much more staff time.
2 1/2" archival storage box costs:
1@$10.15 ea.; 10@$8.90 ea.; 50@$8.70 ea.
5" archival box (full herbarium slot) costs:
1@$12.05 ea.; 5@$11.80 ea.; 10@$11.55 ea.; 50@$10.65 each.
Specimen sorting, accessioning, filingSorting and accessioning: est. 60 sheets per hour; adding barcodes: est. 60 sheets per hour; filing: est. ca. 60 sheets per hour with troubleshooting (full processing estimate = 60 in 3 hours = 20 per hour). OPS staff @ $17.223 per hour$0.82 per sheet
Fragment packetsLong grain copy paper via Mr. Paper or other local office supply vendorscomp.
Sub-total specimen preparationrounded up from $1.96 and $3.71$2.00 per sheet with CFWS student mounters
$ 3.75 per sheet with regular student OPS mounters
Storage (herbarium cabinets) Viking Metal Cabinet Co: #241 Full Height Herbarium Cabinet, 29 5/8"W x 84"H x 19 1/4"D to be keyed to D251A, color white, no workshelf.
Est. 750 sheets per case / avg. $1500 per case including shipping which varies. Check website and get quote with shipping.
Note: number of sheets per case varies widely. E.g., a set of 570 Melastomataceae sheets recently processed filled a standard case.
$2.00 per sheet
Sub-total specimen preparation and stoage $4.00 per sheet with CFWS student mounters
$ 5.75 per sheet with regular student OPS mounters
Specimen computerization with PLabel files providedEst. ca. 100 sheets per hour with correctly formatted PLabel files. Staff @ $17.223 per hour
Est. ca. 10 sheets per hour for manual data entry.
$0.18 per sheet or
$ 1.75 per sheet
Specimen computerization - manual data entryEst. ca. 10 sheets per hour. Staff @ $17.223 per hour$ 1.75 per sheet
Sub-total specimen preparation/storage/computerizationfigures are rounded from $4.18, $5.93, $5.93, $7.68With Plabel files:
with CFWS mounters: $4.25 per sheet
with OPS mounters: $6.00 per sheet
Manual data entry
with CFWS mounters: $6.00 per sheet
with OPS mounters: $7.75
Specimen imagingImage acquisition:
Ca. 30 sheets per hour with Sinar imaging equipment = $0.58* per sheet.
note: imaging may also be done at ca. 10 sheets per hour with a Microtek flatbed scanner, assuming sheets are relatively flat = $1.73* per sheet.
Post processing: ca. 1 hr. per 200 sheets = $0.09* per sheet.
* based on staff pay rate of @ $17.223 per hour including fringe.
Backup requirements: images average 100mb each; sufficient hard drive storage needs to be provided to store a copy on the FLMNH file server. The current rate on the file server is $2500 per 1 TB which holds ca. 9000 images = ca. $0.28 per sheet.
Equipment repair and depreciation fee: $0.25 per sheet.
$1.20 per sheet
Grand Total (specimen prep., computerization, imaging) With Plabel files:
with CFWS mounters: $5.45 per sheet
with OPS mounters: $7.20 per sheet
Manual data entry
with CFWS mounters: $7.20 per sheet
with OPS mounters: $8.95
Loan request letterSingle letters take from 15 to 60 minutes. Bulk requests require at least an 60 minutes start-up and avg. 10 minutes per letter. Special requests may take extra effort. 
Receipt and acknowledgment of loanFreeze, unpack, count, review specimens for damage and presence of an accession seal, repair damage, stow boxes and packing material and record the loan transaction in our database. Many foreign institutions inventory each specimen and these need to be checked off individually. Larger loans may be more difficult to tally.Generally, about 15 hours per 1000 specimens, if specimens are not itemized on the loan invoice.
Study and annotation of the loanThis work often results in the specimens from multiple institutions being mixed.The researcher must complete this work.
Sort the specimens from multiple loans by institution and tally the counts.The labor necessary increases exponentially with the number of loans. A group of about 2000 appears to take about 40-60 hours to sort.20 hours per 1000 specimens.
Pack and return the loanRetrieve the original packing material, separate types, count the specimens, repair specimens, erase any marks pencilled on the sheets by FLAS researchers, cover each specimen, bundle the specimens, box the specimens, determine shipping method, prepare paperwork and shipping labels and seal the boxes. Foreign shipments will require evaluation of shipping method and customs forms and possibly CITES paperwork.Avg. 35 specimens per hour = 30 hours per 1000 specimens
PostagePostage rates have been increasing rapidly. Per specimen postage rates will depend greatly on the type of specimens being shipped. Funding for postage must be specifically written into some grants (e.g., NSF grants) in order to be allowed. Such postage must be justified as above-and-beyond normal operations.Foreign loans average $2.00 or more per specimen up to $3.00 per specimens for bulky specimens and perhaps more if the specimens are super bulky, such as palms.
US loans (via library rate) average $0.20 per specimens.
$200 per 1000 specimens.
Grand Total Estimate for Loan Processing LaborThe above totals do not include shipping supplies such as boxes and cardboard flats. Other variables to consider: source of labor, i.e., how much is provided by the investigator. E.g., if the investigator sorts the loans then the cost is more in the neighborhood of 60 hours per 1000 = $969 per 1000 specimens.
Foreign loans are much more expensive than U.S.loans.

Number of loan transactions. Obviously 1000 one specimen loans will cost much more than one 1000 specimen loan.
70 hours per 1000 specimens (+ postage)
est. pay and fringe at $10.76 per hour = $750 per 1000 specimens, minimum.