Inventory/Digitization of vertebrates in the collection of the Natural History Museum of Uri
Casparina, Aschwanden (Natural History Museum Uri, Natural History Collection of the Cantonal Secondary School Uri)
The main objective of this project is the re-determination, the re-labelling and the digitization of all vertebrates in our collection. As a small museum we need some help by specialists (coming from other institutions) for the re-determination of the animals. All other parts can be done by ourselves.
The project is important because it makes an essential part of our collection accessible to scientists and the general public. By rising the collection standard, the collection becomes important for national and international databases.
Frozen in time: DNA tissue collections for future biodiversity research
Manuel, Schweizer; Lukas, Rüber; Stefan T., Hertwig (Natural History Museum Bern)
Documenting biodiversity through space and time is one of the main tasks of natural history museums, and archiving samples collected for genetic analyses form an important part of this. Securing long-term storage and documentation of such samples achieved in scientific projects is usually not a priority because of time constraints, lack of expertise and infrastructure. However, their long-term storage is crucial not at least to guarantee reproducibility of scientific studies, and given the continuing advance in DNA sequence technologies, they might comprise an important resource for future projects to increase gain of knowledge. In times when collection of samples is severely limited especially in vertebrates due to increasing restrictions, integrating such samples into natural history collections is an important source for securing genetic material from a wide variety of species. This is now increasingly recognized by researchers, and for this reason the Natural History Museum Bern has been offered thousands of samples collected for genetic research from different researchers and institutions. Conditioning, conserving, and databasing genetic samples is time consuming and costly, but a prerequisite for their subsequent scientific use. Through the financial support of SwissCollNet, this can now be achieved for tissue samples of 10’000 fishes, 10’200 amphibians and of 11’050 birds.
Vertebrate collection: about preventive conservation and bringing the inventory to the next level
Louise Robert (Natural History Museum Neuchâtel)
The origin of the vertebrate collections at the Museum of Natural History of Neuchâtel (MHNN) dates back over 200 years. Since then, the collection has continued to grow and now includes over 21,600 specimens, many of which are of high scientific and historical value.
The specimens have deteriorated with time, namely due to climatic variation, attacks by insect pests and the accumulation of dust. Specimens will be dusted, disinfested, restored and reconditioned. The collections preserved in alcohol will also be reconditioned, according to the best practices in the field.
Each specimen in the collection will be mapped in order to verify its presence and location in the collection. At the same time, specimens will undergo a taxonomic revision and their IUCN conservation status will be noted.
High resolution photographs will be taken of all specimens and integrated into the MHNN database. This will improve the visibility of the collection for the scientific community.
21st century curation - best practices for expansion and providing accessibility of vertebrate collections
Stefan T. Hertwig (Natural History Museum Bern), Lukas Rüber (Natural History Museum Bern), Manuel Schweizer (Natural History Museum Bern)
Natural history collections and databases document the diversity of life on Earth and serve as an important basis for our understanding of evolution. Correctly dated and preserved museum specimens are therefore indispensable sources of data for biological and applied research. Consequently, natural history museums must constantly expand their collections in a targeted manner based on scientific standards. In this context, the conservation of objects is a time-consuming and cost-intensive process, which is, however, a prerequisite for any subsequent scientific use of natural history collections. The project at the Museum of Natural History Bern, funded by SwissCollNet, will lead to a significant expansion and better cataloguing of the vertebrate collection. A total of 3000 newly collected specimens as well as 350 historical skeletons in poor condition will be prepared, sampled and digitally recorded for the collection. The newly collected data will be made available to superordinate databases and thus made accessible to researchers all over the world. In this model project, standards for the processing of newly collected material but also for the preservation of historical objects in vertebrate collections in general will be further developed. In the context of a workshop, best practices in extension and curation of vertebrate collections will be shared with other institutions as a contribution to maintaining high standards in Switzerland's natural history collections.
Inventory/Digitization of exotic vertebrates in the collection of the Natural History Museum of Solothurn
Andreas Schäfer (Natural History Museum Solothurn)
The main objective of this project is the re-determination, the re-labelling and the digitization of all exotic animals in our vertebrate collection. As a small museum we need some help by specialists (coming from other institutions) for the re-determination of the exotic animals. All other parts of the project we can do ourselves.
The project is important because it makes an essential part of our collection accessible to researchers and scientists. A digitization/inventory also is important for long term preservation. Only if we can guarantee a link between object and data we can conserve its scientific value. By rising the collection standard, the collection becomes important for national and international databases.
Invertebrati e vertebrati
Digitization and enhanced visibility of the zoological type collections of Neuchâtel
Jessica Litman (Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Neuchâtel), Nicolas Margraf (MUZOO, La Chaux-de-Fonds)
Among the specimens found in natural history collections, type specimens are of particular importance because they are the only specimens that may be consulted when assessing the correct application of a scientific name. As such, they are indispensable for taxonomic and systematic research. Type-holding institutions must thus ensure that such material is both visible and accessible to the international scientific community. The goal of this project is to enhance the storage conditions and overall visibility of the zoological type material held at institutions in the canton of Neuchâtel, namely the Museum of Natural History of Neuchâtel and MUZOO of La Chaux-de-Fonds. We intend to recondition type specimens, digitize label information, photograph specimens and publish all data and metadata related to our type collections online. Data will be published on platforms such as the Swiss Virtual Natural History Collection (SVNHC) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility platform (GBIF) according to the Fair Principles and the ABCD-EFG schema for the exchange of biodiversity data. The results of this project will facilitate scientific research in the fields of taxonomy and systematics, foment a greater understanding of the type collections in the canton of Neuchâtel and heighten public awareness concerning the contents of our collections.
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