A new digital Princeton University Library (PUL) exhibition explores the bird imagery in the Library’s Digital Repository and highlights the importance of birds as an indicator species, serving as one of nature’s primordial messengers of climate change.
Titled “Capturing Feathers,” this exhibition is inspired by the work of Charles H. Rogers (Class of 1909), curator of Princeton University’s ornithological collection from 1920-1977. The personal bird journals of Charles Rogers, which span a period of seventy years, are being digitized as part of an ongoing collaboration between the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) and the PULDigital Imaging Studio.
Digital Imaging Technician and designer of the online exhibition Jennifer Cabral-Pierce curated the virtual display, which showcases PUL’s initial digitization efforts of source materials that will eventually generate invaluable data for climate change, conservation, and biodiversity studies.
“We framed the project as bird-watching within the PUL repository,” Cabral-Pierce said. “It was a pleasant surprise to meet so many birding enthusiasts, not only among the scientific community at Princeton University such as the students, researchers, and faculty at the Stoddard Lab, but also among Princeton University Library staff.” The Stoddard Lab studies animal coloration and avian sensory ecology, evolution, and behavior through a multidisciplinary approach that includes a focus on visual communication and signaling in birds.
In the coming months, the Library will continue to work with EEB to digitize and transcribe the entirety of Rogers’ holdings in a separate collection.
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