We open the doors to our collections once a year for the Museum Open House and thousands of people from all over the state and beyond stream through our building to marvel over our specimens. Many of them express interest in re-visiting soon.
How amazing would it be to allow people access to our specimens every day at any time? With easy access to the World Wide Web it is possible and natural history museums are digitizing their collections and making their specimens freely available online.
Curatorial staff take high quality, ideally 3-D images of each specimen, add metadata and upload them to an online database. This process is labor- and time-intensive, but well worth the effort.
You can read about Museum Specimens Find(ing) New Life Online in this recent New York Times article (10/20/2105.) And please stay tuned to learn more about specific digitizing efforts going on right here in the collections housed at the OSU Museum of Biological Diversity.