MAKING THE FORMER USGS MENLO PARK INVERTEBRATE COLLECTION DIGITALLY ACCESSIBLE THROUGH THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA MUSEUM OF PALEONTOLOGY
Proceeding in stratigraphic order, fossil specimens are rehoused in acid-free paper trays and reorganized into new steel drawers and cabinets purchased for the project. Localities missing geologic age or stratigraphic information but containing township and range coordinates are georeferenced, then geologically-referenced using USGS’ MapView program. Once rehoused, new locality labels are printed on archival paper and trays of fossils are photographed using an LED-lit light box and digital SLR camera. The light box facilitates rapid capture of high-resolution photos of consistent high quality taken by undergraduate students and volunteers. The photos are batch renamed, automatically cropped and resized using Adobe Photoshop scripts. Lower resolution images are added to CalPhotos (http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/), while high-resolution photos are stored as digital negative files. Archival materials will be removed from the cabinets and linked to locality records through Archon (http://ucmpdb.berkeley.edu/archon/). UCMP is also in the midst of launching a citizen science project to virtually catalog this collection using the tray-level photographs, which will broaden the reach of this work beyond the research community.