The Center for Biological Research Collections and the Path To Digitization for IU's Natural History Collections
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The Center for Biological Research Collections is a consortium of research-based scientific collections at Indiana University that works in close collaboration with the IU Libraries, the Advanced Visualization Laboratory, University Information Technology Services, and a number of other campus wide organizations to promote the preservation, digitization, and discoverability of IU's natural history collections. The CBRC enhances collection-based research, education, and outreach in biodiversity science, botany, paleontology, zooarchaeology, and related disciplines by providing shared infrastructural and data management support. The Center focuses on collections of biological specimens, including fossils and archaeological remains, that have shared taxonomic, geographic, and temporal metadata requirements. The CBRC provides institution-wide support for a collections management information system, SpecifyÃ¥Ã¼ and is working to facilitate the interoperability of this bio-collections data platform with the new Fedora 4 digital content management system being developed by the IU Libraries. This presentation will provide an overview of the university-wide resources committed to the digitization of biological research collections, prospects for future research, education, and outreach opportunities, as well as a mention of some of the challenges that may arise in the digitization of the several million collections objects for which the CBRC is tasked. This grand challenge of specimen preservation, metadata maintenance, and data discoverability is a service and responsibility of the entire university community to enhance and augment the commitment of nearly 200 years of biological research in many scientific sub-disciplines focused on Indiana and beyond.
Indiana University Digital Collections Services
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