CREATING AN ONLINE INVERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY MUSEUM: TURNING FOSSILS INTO DIGITAL DATA
Named for its primary collector, the Jack Kallmeyer Collection will establish one of the largest museum collections (more than 12,000 specimens) of Ordovician invertebrate specimens in Ohio. When donated, the specimens were largely unidentified and stored en masse according to collecting locality and lithostratigraphic formation. Thus, before digitization could begin, all specimens were identified and labeled, localities were georeferenced (following iDigBio’s protocols), and the digitization workflow was developed. Digital records were then created for all specimens using the Specifiy6 biological collections databasing software.
These digital records will be combined with similar data from two other Ohio institutions and will be used to generate informational content and paleogeographic maps for online digital atlases. Atlases will serve as educational resources for the general public, K-12 students and educators, university courses focused on paleobiogeographic patterns, and species distribution modeling based research. Finally, the digital records will be incorporated into existing online biodiversity databases where they can be accessed by researchers across the globe. Continued efforts to digitize museum collections and other paleontological and biological data will increase the completeness, quality, and accessibility of the fossil record of life on Earth.