Digitizing Original Source Materials Workshop

iDigBio and Yale Peabody Museum are pleased to announce a co-sponsored workshop focused on the digitization of original, specimen-related source materials in natural history collections, to include field notebooks, catalogs, ledgers, cards, and other archival materials that contain specimen-related data. We are also pleased to invite remote participation at http://idigbio.adobeconnect.com/sourcematerials. A wiki has been established for the workshop and will include all workshop-related materials: https://www.idigbio.org/wiki/index.php/Digitizing-From-Source-Materials. The workshop schedule is March 10-12. A draft agenda is available on the wiki.
Source documentation consists of the original records of scientific research and discovery. In disciplines related to biodiversity research, original source documentation describes specimen collecting activities and, in addition to the critical taxon, locality and event data, they often include descriptions of habitats, species abundance, co-occurrence, meteorological data, and sometimes cultural and political information.
The goals of the workshop are to:
  • Review existing projects that incorporate original source documentation content within digitization workflows,
  • Assess the design of workflows, including the evaluation of cost/benefit and the identification of required resources,
  • Document and evaluate the outcomes (acquisition rates, digital surrogates, shared efficiencies) of using source materials content in digitization workflows,
  • Prepare an outline for a best practices document that will be completed by a writing team agreed upon by the workshop attendees and distributed through the iDigBio portal and various professional societies,
  • Prepare a comprehensive list of use cases that describe the value of original source documentation to TCN collections digitization processes, biodiversity studies, and systematic and taxonomic research efforts, and
  • Collaborate with the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) on a workshop for the 2015 annual meeting at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, Florida.
Onsite participants include:
  • Individuals with existing knowledge of source materials digitization and content,
  • Representatives from the several biological disciplines and collection types,
  • Representatives from funded TCNs, and
  • Individuals from the library sciences and other Council for Library & Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections funded projects. 

The planning team for this workshop includes:

Christina Fidler
Larry Gall
Michelle Koo
James Macklin
Gil Nelson
Deb Paul
Rusty Russell
Carolyn Sheffield
Barbara Thiers
Tim White
For further information about the agenda or broadcast, please contact Gil Nelson (gnelson@bio.fsu.edu) or Tim White (russell.white@yale.edu).