Have you ever been through a museum and caught a glimpse into a back room? One that looked tantalizingly full of interesting records and objects not yet out on display? Well, the folks at Zooniverse are offering you the chance to have a closer look at some of these things.
Notes from Nature is a brand new project that has digitized thousands of specimen images, labels and ledgers from museum collections and biologists. These collections document where species and populations exist now and where they existed before, so they are key to uncovering the patterns of changes over time. Scientists use such data to address key environmental issues, such as the impacts of climate change.
Right now, there are two collections available to transcribe. The SERNEC collection is made of herbarium specimens: flowers and plants pressed onto sheets along with descriptive labels. The Calbug collection is made of pinned insect specimens drawn from eight California institutions. There will soon be an ornithological (birds) collection from the Natural History Museum.
To participate, you simply need to sign up or login with your Zooinverse login at the site, pick a collection, and start transcribing what you see on the screen. In this project, you can also earn badges for your transcription efforts, as a record of your contribution.