Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Museum Specimens

Source: Natural History Museum of Berlin.

Atlas of Australian Life, WeDigBio 2015, 16 October 2015

AM dig volunteers

DigiVol volunteers at the Australian Museum.

WeDigBio, short for Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Bio-collections, is a four-day global event taking place during October 22-25 2015, that will engage participants in transcribing biodiversity research collections. The public can join WeDigBio and scientists from around the world to transform biodiversity collections data into a worldwide resource that will enhance the span of biodiversity research across time, taxa, and geographies.

The WeDigBio event emerged within the museum community to increase the rate of digital data creation. This one-of-a-kind event will be held across 30 locations across the globe, but you don’t have to be at one of these locations to get involved.

Through the DigiVol portal, the Australian Museum will be joining in on the WeDigBio fun this year and they’ll be looking for volunteers online and onsite to join the blitz.

The Australian Museum has more than 18 million specimens hidden within its buildings. The labels that are attached to these specimens contain data that is important in the study of the diversity of plants and animals. Many of these specimens do not have a digital record attached to them, making this information unavailable to researchers and scientists, but with the help of Citizen Scientists these specimens are receiving the digitisation treatment.

For those in Sydney, you can join in the fun at the Australian Museum as they will be holding a free admission, onsite transcription event on Saturday 24 October. Bring your laptop and join the team for coffee and cake and an afternoon of transcribing, you can learn how to use DigiVol and explore other transcriptions sites from around the world. For further information and registration for the Sydney event please email: DigiVol@austmus.gov.au

Biodiversity data transcribed through the DigiVol is uploaded to the Atlas of Living Australia for future research use and to support biodiversity knowledge.

If you would like to get involved in WeDigBio online, please visit WeDigBio or DigiVol for further instruction.

See also:

Michael Roston, ‘A Guide to Digitized Natural History Collections’, The New York Times, 19 October 2015

Erik Olsen, Museum Specimens Find New Life Online, The New York Times, 19 October 2015

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