1st September 2014: Natural History Near You
Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA) is a UK based membership organisation and charity whose mission is to promote and support natural science collections, the institutions that house them and the people that work with them, in order to improve collections care, understanding, accessibility and enjoyment for all.
Paolo Viscardi FLS is involved in a very exciting NatSCA project -Natural History Near You, below he explains more about the project...
Collections of any size can support biological recorders by providing specimens, expertise and resources that help confirm identifications. They hold verifiable data that can provide a historic baseline for population distributions, allowing environmental changes to be mapped. Some collections also offer opportunities for lodging voucher specimens from biological recording activities, improving the quality and scientific value of data records. Collections also support school and university teaching, academic research and they provide a rich source of inspiration for artists, historians and anyone who wants to further engage with the natural world.
The Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA) is currently trying to find every natural history collection in the UK & Ireland, discover what they have and get an idea of what state they're in as part of a project called Natural History Near You. NatSCA wants to make this information as accessible as possible, in order to support users of collections. Hundreds of collections have already been identified, many with details about the quantity and types of material they hold, and you can see them on the map at http://natsca.org/NHNearYou - just click on the dots to see details of the collection.
This is a crowdsourcing project and we need your help to add more collections to the map, improve the data for collections already on there, and to spread the word about the project. New collections can be added using the form below the map and more information can be added to existing collections entries by clicking the ‘edit’ link in the top of the information boxes that pop up on the map. Sharing the information can be done using social media, by email or by word of mouth; the more people who hear about it, the more people who can use it and help improve it.