Technical note: New herbarium label in the Interior Collections Management System for NPS botany collections

By Wendy Weckesser

For any resource manager with plant collections to curate, an updated version of the herbarium label template is now available in the Interior Collections Management System (ICMS), the software used to catalog NPS museum collections. As stated in 36 CFR 2.5, Research Specimens, “specimens from national parks placed in museum collections are required to bear official NPS museum labels.” While working as botanist at Amistad National Recreation Area, Texas, I curated more than 1,600 plant collections using ICMS. Although the label template for herbarium collections (NPS Form 10-512) in ICMS meets NPS standards for museum curation, it does not include adequate information for a standard herbarium label (fig. 1). The ICMS template lacks the name of the collection (for example, “Flora of Amistad National Recreation Area”), the state and county where the collection was made, space for a specimen description, and the collector’s collection number.

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Figure 1. The original herbarium label template, Form NPS 10-512. The template lacks the name of the collection, state and county, specimen description, and collector number.

The museum catalog data necessary for a complete herbarium label are recorded in ICMS, so it simply became a matter of reconfiguring the template to serve as both museum and herbarium label. In collaboration with the NPS Museum Management Program and the ICMS vendor Re:discovery Software, Inc., we have modified NPS Form 10-512 to greatly improve its usefulness as an herbarium label. All the pertinent botanical data, as well as the NPS curatorial data, are incorporated into the label template (fig. 2).

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Figure 2. The modified herbarium label template, Form NPS 10-512. The modified format includes all pertinent botanical data as well as the required NPS museum accession data.

The revised label still has some limitations, however. The scientific name is not in italics and the number of characters is limited in the fields for scientific name and specimen description. Wording for the specimen description must be succinct. Though there is room for further improvement, this version of the herbarium label template should prove useful to National Park Service botanists and museum curators who use the ICMS.

For more information on accessing the template, contact technical support at Re:discovery Software, Inc. (e-mail: support@rediscov.com).

Acknowledgments

The author wishes to thank the collaborators from the NPS Museum Management Program and Re:discovery Software, Inc., for their contributions to the label update and this article. Comments from reviewer Steve Buckley, Lassen Volcanic National Park, improved the overall quality of the article and are greatly appreciated.

About the author

Wendy Weckesser was a biological science technician at Amistad National Recreation Area, Texas. She can be reached at wendyweck13@gmail.com.

Last updated: April 13, 2018