The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Digital Imaging Project
The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum has embarked in an ambitious project that includes acquisition, processing, storage, and distribution of images of selected collection specimens and related objects (e.g., original labels, notes) from its 130,000+ lots collection. The new endeavor is the logical sequel to a critical, two-phase project funded by two Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Collection Stewardship grants that allowed for the cataloguing of the entire BMSM backlog over a period of five years. We are, conforming to Darwin Core and Audubon Core standards (iDigBio, 2019a, 2019b’ TDGW, 2019), linking images to the BMSM catalogue via iDigBio* and, ultimately, to other collection data aggregators. The main objective is to capture and distribute images of 9,240 specimens representing about 6,850 species from key areas of the collection, with distinct emphases on types, vouchers, the Colin Redfern Collection (Bahamas), Southwest Florida, Florida in general, and parts of the Eastern Seaboard of the US. Imaged material includes a few historical collections from Southwest Florida that provide important occurrence data for environmental studies and other types of research. The 2.5-year project, funded in late 2018 by IMLS Collections Stewardship Grant MA-30-18-0438-18, was just launched in February 2019, with the acquisition of photographic equipment, graphics-oriented computer, image-capture and processing software, and hiring and training of two part-time Digital Imaging Specialists, James F. Kelly, and Patricia A. Starkey.