SPNHC 2014: Progress in Digitization: Exploitation of digital collection data at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 1:45pm -- ellwood
TitleSPNHC 2014: Progress in Digitization: Exploitation of digital collection data at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsJancke, Saskia, Striebing Dirk, and Mayer Frieder
Keywordsdatabase management, digitization, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Specify, SPNHC 2014, SPNHC 2014: Progress in Digitization, standardization
AbstractItem information of many collections in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (MfN Berlin) - as in many other museums - is often stored locally by each curator in different formats such as Excel spreadsheets. These files are often accessible exclusively by collection staff members. Within the project “Exploitation of digital collection data” funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) the data from the MfN Berlin mammal collection were transferred from Excel spreadsheets to an SQL server using scripts developed by a database specialist at the MfN Berlin. The data were subsequently standardised, for example in terms of their taxonomic and geographical information. The revised data were then transferred from the SQL server into Specify - a museum database software application. Further aims of this project are the development and implementation of common transfer tools to achieve data migration to open-access databases such as BioCASE and GBIF as well as information retrieval like the current distribution of the specimen from databases like the IUCN redlist. This will allow external information retrievals of collection data and thus will open new avenues for scientific exploration of the collections. We have successfully applied our data transfer pipeline to the mammal collection of the MfN Berlin which is the 4th largest worldwide of its kind. These methods and tools can be used for the data migration of other collections of the MfN Berlin with its approximately 30 million collection objects, and also by other museums.