A soil fauna collection is housed in the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Görlitz. As in many other natural history museums, the tiny creatures are embedded in a water-soluble medium and mounted on slides to be studied under a light microscope, described in minute detail, accurately identified and cataloged. But with this method, the specimens only have a limited lifespan, and entire collections are at risk.

The museum hopes to document the collection using light microscopy and “photographic focusing”. A project team intends to record and gather all the data and information relating to objects in the collection and make it available through an internet platform. Eureka Alert brought this news to our attention in their article, “New knowledge from old collections: DFG supports indexing and digitization of research-relevant objects.”

This ambitious project is utilizing digital transformation for the virtual preservation of three-dimensional microbial objects in scientific collections, and storing the data in databases. This enables researchers all over the world to exchange information on the microbes via the internet and to view relevant objects.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.