Microfossil Type Collection Rehousing Progress Report

Volunteer Linda Scalbom

The AMNH microfossil project, CSBR: Natural History Collections: Support for the AMNH Invertebrate Paleontology Collection; Addressing a critical need to conserve and digitize the Microfossil Collection, is supported by the NSF award # 1203394. The project consists of three components:

A woman wearing a head scarf and wire-rimmed eyeglasses: Museum staffer Bushra Hussaini.
Staff Bushra Hussaini
  1. Rehouse specimens using archival materials.
  2. Catalog and database all specimens, including imaging 1,000 primary type specimens.
  3. Produce CT scans of ca. 50 type specimens in the micro-paleontological collection and upload the most scientifically relevant images to the Divisional database.
Staff Lindsay Jurgielewicz

With the help of volunteers, staff and recruited interns (undergraduate and graduate students with a variety of educational backgrounds) during our first summer (2013), we rehoused and cataloged ca. 2,564 specimen slides out of a total of 7,000, and took ca. 432 digital images of type specimens. This was achieved by several months of planning, organizing, training and supervising the interns and volunteers in the execution of all tasks listed in the Intern weekly plan form (see below). These efforts have and will significantly reduce identified threats such as dissociation or loss of data and enhance long-term stability of the collection. We are in the process of carrying out extensive data verification based on protocols developed within the Division during previous data enhancement and quality control projects.

Woman at desk smiling at camera. Dr. Ellen Thomas, Yale University, supervised the Museum’s microfossil collection conservation and digitization in 2013.
Dr. Ellen Thomas

Dr. Ellen Thomas (Editor of Geology, Senior Research Scientist at Yale University, Curatorial Affiliate for Foraminifera at Yale Peabody Museum,Research Professor at Wesleyan University) is providing assistance in supervising the conservation work and acts as a consultant to re-curate and rehabilitate the microfossil collection. She will continue to provide her expertise in conservation, classification and taxonomic identification of foraminifera and ostracoda through 2015.