The Field Museum is known for its incredible exhibits and stunning architecture, but it needs the public’s help in a big way as it tries to digitize its extensive collection.
According to Matt Von Konrat, the Field Museum’s Head of Botanical Collections, the museum has nearly 40 million objects and specimens in its collection, and it’s recruiting volunteers to help share that collection online.
“The goal is to have all these specimens digitized, databased so that information available to researchers, students educators worldwide,” he said.
To achieve that goal, the museum is looking for volunteers to help catalog information about the specimens, from plants to bugs to even mammals.
“By doing this it will greatly accelerate our whole process of documentation and discovery,” Von Konrat said.
Volunteers will handle images of the specimens, but not the specimens themselves due to their delicate nature. Shifts run Thursday through Sunday, and volunteers are given behind-the-scenes tours of the Field Museum’s incredible collection.
Some of the cataloging opportunities are even web-based, so some volunteers can stay at home and work from the comfort of their own computers.
For those interested in volunteering, there is a sign-up page available through the museum, but spots are filling up fast.
“Chicagoans should be super proud because we are on track to be the capital of the world with community science and participation in this event,” Von Konrat said.
The database can be found online at “Notes from Nature.”