iDigBio was delighted with Axiell's generous invitation to present a half-day digitization workshop at the annual meeting of the EMu user group Natural History Special Interest Group (NHSIG), held October 7 at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia. After determining via survey what EMu users would be interested in hearing about, we fashioned the following well-received agenda:
More than 60 paleontologists representing 41 institutions assembled in New Haven, CT the week of September 23rd, 2013 to share ideas, protocols, preferences, and strategies. This was iDigBio’s most populous workshop to date, with an assortment of excellent presentations and ample opportunities for rich discussion.
Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH) turned out to be the perfect venue for iDigBio’s April 23–25 Dried Insect Digitization workshop. Overlooking Grant Park and the Chicago lakefront, FMNH provided an exceptionally attractive and hospitable environment with outstanding amenities. About 50 entomologists and digitization professionals from the U.S., Australia, and the United Kingdom attended, bringing together a diverse assemblage of knowledge and skill to address the complex job of digitizing pinned insect collections.
Launching a biological collections digitization program requires careful selection of a database management system, portal option, aggregator, and associated data enrichment tools. Numerous database systems, data publication portals, and other productivity tools are in use across the collections community, all of which vary in cost, installation requirements, storage methods, approaches to data processing, and other important features. iDigBio has begun the process of reviewing the various systems, tools, and data portals in current use, with the goal of building an annotated list of available products. Our reviews include brief descriptions of features, installation and maintenance requirements, cost, ease of use, and other components that collections managers might find useful when evaluating them for fitness. We include a wide range of products in the list, each of which fits one or more categories as denoted in the parenthetical entries immediately below the product name.