This post is part of a series on the collection of ornithologist William Brewster (1851-1919) at the Ernst Mayr Library, written by Elizabeth Meyer, library project assistant.
“The conditions which govern the singing of birds are a constant puzzle to me,” Brewster wrote in his journal after decades of ornithological study.  We have some solid information now about how and why birds make certain sounds , but Brewster didn’t know the difference between songs and calls; that sounds can serve to attract mates and
This spring I was an intern at the Ernst Mayr Library and Museum of Comparative Zoology Archives of Harvard University. I worked with Robert Young, the Special Collections Librarian/archivist. My project taught me how to compose a finding aid from scratch, while bringing together information about multiple collections. In the case of the Hubert Lyman Clark papers, for which I created the finding aid, there were multiple relevant collections accessioned at different times that needed to be synthesized into one document to successfully
As a part of the Field Notes Project, the Ernst Mayr Library is digitizing the journals, correspondences and photographs of William Brewster (1851-1919), a self-trained ornithologist and specimen curator at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), the first president of the
During 14-17 March 2017, the Biodiversity Heritage Library held its Annual Meetings in Singapore, hosted by the National Library Board. The meetings were attended by 24 BHL partner representatives from nine countries.
My project at the Missouri Botanical Garden focuses on access to illustrations in BHL’s corpus of biodiversity literature. I’ve dipped my toes into the related areas of interface design for digital special collections exhibitions, digital humanities, metadata, social media outreach, and rare books in the course of my studies and work. The possibility for engagement and exploration of cultural heritage in the digital environment is infinitely exhilarating. I am fortunate to be able to dive into these topics while making concrete progress on a project that will serve
In considering how to consolidate my thoughts from Code4Lib 2017, I spent some time reviewing the pre-conference workshops and the interesting and directly relevant talks from last week. Ultimately, as I am sure many other attendees discovered, I found that the framework of the conference and a lot of our work as library technologists was best examined by Christina Harlow in her keynote “Resistance is Fertile.”1 There were many (many
Field notebooks and diaries have historically been retained by natural history institutions as reference files for museum specimen and associated collecting events. More recently, however, researchers have begun to uncover vast historical data sets as part of their scholarship in scientific taxonomy, species distribution and occurrences, climate change studies, and history of science. Field notebooks contain significant information related to scientific discovery and are rich sources for data that describes biodiversity across space and time. They enhance our understanding of field