CONNECTIONS: USING DIGITAL TECHNIQUES TO UNLOCK THE RESEARCH POTENTIAL OF COLLECTIONS
This heterogeneous resource is being slowly been transformed to function as a singular entity by utilizing a GIS management system, a robust relational database, and a plethora of digital attributes related to each specimen. Paramount importance is placed on the ability to connect specimen with relevant data and make that combination available, physically and virtually. The latter is particularly relevant for global researchers but equally vital for local researchers whose collections may now reside at locations remote to their main campus, or who may wish to access information while in the field.
Three aspects of this project are reviewed. Namely how to ensure remote access to the collections; create images that can be used as surrogates for a physical specimen, and enable the mapping of collection sites in the context of deep time. All three place the museum specimen within a vibrant digital framework, one which furthers research.