GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 213-13
Presentation Time: 11:15 AM


BURKE, Patricia, Robert and Sally Manegold Curator of Geology Collections, Milwaukee Public Museum, 800 W. Wells St, MILWAUKEE, WI 53233 and MAYER, Paul, Gantz Family Collection Center, The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605-2827

The Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) along with its partners, The Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Greene Geological Museum are in the last year of an IMLS Museums for America grant to digitize the Ordovician fossil collections held by each institution. The Ordovician collections in these institutions document the radiation of animal life that gave rise to the Paleozoic fauna following the Cambrian explosion. Thus far the project has converted thousands of paper-based specimen records to electronic form and added the Ordovician collections to a previously created Silurian online database.

The first 2 years of the MPM project had full time summer interns photographing labels and specimens and entering data into our collection management system. Pandemic year restrictions limited access and the process was modified to onsite photography and remote data entry. MPM has added over 5000 multimedia records, over 9ooo specimen records for 42,100 specimens along with additional taxonomic and collection event records. Machine readable labels are being added to all specimens in anticipation of collection move.

At The Field Museum, for the first two years of the grant, interns photographed and completed the data entry of the specimen labels into EMu. This year I am photographing the remaining specimens while two ‘virtual’ interns are entering the label data from their home computers into EMu. Overall interns have entered nearly 9,000 new specimens catalog records and are on pace to meet our proposed 13,400 records. We have surpassed the 32,000 images we had proposed and have generated more than 43,000 multimedia records in EMu. Over 22% of the specimens databased did not have specimen numbers and were not in our paper catalogs. In addition many taxa, localities, and formations were not in the database and we added 1,549 new taxonomy records, 371 locality records, and 119 stratigraphy records.