There’s a lot of activity in around digitized biological and natural history collections in the next few weeks, which continues a series of NSF-funded community initiatives which go back a number of years to initiatives from the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Marburger years during the George W. Bush administration (you can find pointers to some of the foundational reports in the CNI-announce archives). I wanted to share pointers to several of these.
A US National Academies committee has been looking at the role of Biological Collections in Research and Education in the 21st Century. They have recently issued a report and a video summary of the report, and are going to do a webinar briefing on September 17 (registration required). You can find links to all of this plus some background on the committee at:
There’s a major annual conference on digital biological collections which has moved online in a compressed format this year; registration is free. It will be preceded by a series of short workshops September 15-17 dealing with natural history collections in the age of COVID-19, with the main conference happening on the afternoons (Eastern US time) on September 22-25. There are some superb sessions here. It’s unclear from the web page whether the sessions will be recorded for later asynchronous viewing. See
These are important, dynamic developments that have implications both for stewardship and for changing scholarly practice, and some of these are incredibly valuable and highly multi-disciplinary resources.