Barcoding the Specimens
1. Review the Specimen Handling Guidelines before you start working with the specimens.
2. Locate the starting point or where the last barcoding was carried out. There should be a marker on the outside and inside of the cabinet.
3. Select specimens based on our Specimen Selection Guidelines
4. Pull the next folder that has not been barcoded.
5. Reminder: a specimen can bend and break easily. To avoid that, please, handle the specimen very carefully using both of your hands. Keep the specimen horizontal and facing up, never put it facing down.
6. Be sure that the specimen is fully supported by a flat and hard surface, like a table for example.
7. Add barcodes to the specimens in each folder by going through the specimens one-by-one and placing them in a stack in reverse order.
8. Find the barcode number in the files that corresponds to the accession number stamped on each sheet.
- The accession number is stamped on the sheet, usually near the accession seal which identifies the University of Florida Herbarium.
- Accession numbers range from 1 to ca. 250,000 or P1 to P9999.
- The accession number is usually the largest number stamped on the sheet (about 1/4″ tall). It should not be confused with collection numbers or older accession/catalog numbers.
- Accession numbers are fairly consistent in size and appearance throughout our collection.
9. Put the matching barcode on each specimen according to the specimen selection guidelines.
- Skip specimens that are not in the selection guidelines.
- Skip any specimen that already has a barcode. But, find the corresponding barcode and put it on the wax paper in the notebook for duplicate barcodes.
- Don’t touch the barcode more than absolutely necessary as this could cause the adhesive to become less sticky. Touch just on one corner if possible.
- Before you stick on the barcode, double check that it matches with the accession number.
- Apply the barcode in a blank area as close to the upper right corner of the sheet as possible. Apply it straight and lengthwise. Always leave a margin of a few millimeters from the edges of the sheet.
- Press the barcode on firmly to make sure it sticks well. Do this against a hard and flat surface such as a table-top.
- Be sure not to press against other specimens, which could cause serious damage to the specimens.
- If a specimen shows any kind of major damage, please treat it according to our repair guidelines.
10. After the barcoding, return the specimen to the stack. When the stack is complete:
- Reverse the stack and double-check the barcodes on the specimens.
- Put the stack back in the folder.
- Make sure the specimens are in the order that you found them
- Make sure the specimens are even so that edges of plants won’t get broken off.
11. Return the folders to the cabinet in the exact order that you found them. A description of the herbarium’s collection and specimen arrangement is posted in the collection room. There are lists also posted inside each cabinet door.
If a specimen is marked “TYPE” in any way, including type, holotype, isotype, paratype, co-type, etc.,
* and is not already imaged and not filed in a special white cover,
* then – pull it out and bring it to the Collection Manager.
Struggles / Solutions
1. The barcode can’t be used for some reason: stick or tape the barcode on the barcode numbers to be reprinted sheet. Write the date, the reason why it could not be used, and your initials on the sheet.
2. The barcode corresponding to the accession number can’t be found: fill out the missing barcodes sheet with date, barcode, taxon or folder, region, family, cabinet, and your initials. Pull the specimen and put it in the assigned shelf in the cabinet next to the door.
3. A specimen’s accession number has one or more unclear digits: fill out the unclear digits sheet. Pull the specimen and put it in the assigned shelf in the cabinet next to the door.
4. The specimen does not have an accession number: obtain a new barcode from the roll in the mounting room. Enter the following in the accession log (in a folder in the mounting room): date, accession number (start column), “V” (trans. column), and genus/species in the description column. Always support specimens by a cardboard when moving them around.
5. The specimen does not have the accession seal: add a seal in the upper right corner of the sheet with the accession stamp in the mounting room. Before you stamp the seal on the sheet, try it on scrap paper. The seal uses a special archival ink stamp pad. Be sure to only use that pad. Ask if you don’t know where it is. Do not apply any ink to the archival stamp pad; tell the Collection Manager if it needs ink.
6. If a specimen number bigger than 225,000, pull the specimen and bring it to the attention of the Collection Manager.