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  • Writer's pictureLibrary Herald

Scope of using Biological Metadata for Digitized Natural History Specimens in India

The natural history collections across museums can be depicted as the record of the history of life. Fossilized bones of prehistoric animals such as dinosaurs and ancient mammals, fossils of plants, arthropods, snails, starfish etc, pinned specimen of insects, glass jar specimen of animals and herbarium of plants are the prized collections of any natural history museum. In the modern scenario of 21st century due to the specimen digitization projects of several leading natural history museums around the world, these data are digitized and have since changed the entire complexion of specimen data accession. Now a person can access any type of data regarding the biological specimens from anywhere at anytime and also multiple specimens can be accessed across museums at a time. The natural history of India is rich. Fossil evidence suggests that different types of species from early invertebrates to dinosaurs once roamed the seas, air and land of this country. But the effort of digitizing these specimens are very less. So, it is extremely difficult for scientists, researchers, teachers, students and commoners to access these data from anywhere at anytime. This paper focuses on what are the specimens that can be digitized in different natural history collections across India. Besides, attempt has been made to figure out what biological metadata schemas can be used for accessing and exchanging the digitized data Keywords Specimens, Metadata, Museum, India, Collection, History.

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