January 23, 2022

VOA Reports on the Digitization of Museum Specimens in the U.S.

From the Voice of America:

Technology may be advancing rapidly in many fields, but many museums worldwide still do not have their collections of fossils easily searchable on-line. Specimens, called “dark data” are left in drawers, virtually hidden. There is an effort in the U.S. to bring this “dark data,” as it’s called, into the light through digitizing museum collections.


Integrated Digitized Biocollections or iDigBio is the central portal that digitally collects biodiversity data from museums. iDigBio’s Gil Nelson said there is a change in philosophy among scientists.

“I think the idea of open access data and data availability is becoming a little more common. There are still folks who would rather not share their data but I think those are becoming fewer and fewer and I think open access is becoming more and more the mode of operation these days,” Nelson said.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 650 words)

See Also: iDigBio on Twitter

See Also: NSF Awards Fifth Round of Grants to Enhance America’s Biodiversity Collections (August 20, 2015)

See Also: Museum Specimens Find New Life Online (via NY Times, October 20, 2015)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.