This week’s module included several videos that I have viewed before for Ethnobotany. One video discussed the preservation of digital content.They make some excellent points on preservation. The floppy disks, as well as media storage devices are becoming instantly obsolete. How do we preserve our digital collections at such an accelerated pace? Moreover, the question includes devices that can translate old data onto new data platforms, while keeping that digital content intact. Years ago, I worked for IBM, my job was to preserve archival information and photos into a digital format. I did enhancement imagery for distorted photographs. I equate this to a conservator working on a dirty piece of artwork. For myself, I did my assigned collections through digital imagery. We had a lot of black and white photography that needed their colors cleaned up and edges repaired. Written content on these documents were distorted. It was extremely hard for anyone to read or interpret the documents. My job was to enhance and clean the written content so people could clearly read them, and if possible translate their information. Most projects had written content that was blurred or faded. Projects came from all over the U.S. Some projects were in French. The work was time consuming and required a lot of attention to detail.
There is so much media content in museums that it was hard to choose one. However, I decided on the Smithsonian Natural Museum of History. The museum provides realistic 3-D imagery for its stores and departments. It allows the visitor to experience and observe the museum from numerous angles, as if they were actually standing inside the museum. This includes, the virtual and digital content tours. I watch multiples tours for example: Dr. Kirk Johnson provides an introduction, as well as other tours that include the Sant Ocean Hall Carcharocles megalodon, North Atlantic Right Whale, Indo-Pacific Coral Reef, the David H. Koch Hall of Human Orgins and Introduction, Past species, and Reconstruction to name a few.
They do have Webcasts as well with dates and time for example Marine Science in the Morning, 2021 Virtual Season: Women in STEM. This session is free and the visitor will need to register.
Dr. Loraé T. Simpson from the Florida Oceanographic Society will discuss her research into the mangroves of northern Florida.
Global climate change is driving the expansion of mangroves into saltmarsh habitat in Florida, which may alter ecosystem processes through changes in ecosystem structure. With their unique structure and migration to higher latitudes caused by climate change, mangroves may help coasts keep pace with sea level rise, increase carbon dioxide sequestration from our atmosphere and combat severe weather events like hurricanes. Expansion of these natural barriers along the Atlantic coast may enhance the sustainability of coastal communities as they face impending changes in a warmer future.
Online; Internet connection required
Natural History Museum
Science & Nature
Since, the exhibit tours are virtual and in a digital format for the museum, their digital content eventually will need to be preserved and updated as technological advances improve and/or discovered. The other caveat to this will be the online digital expansion of exhibits being photographed and included into the existing collections (acquisitions or removal of artifacts). I think the museum did an excellent job. However, I have seen one where you stand in a living exhibit and you can feel and observe the gardens by being online. They provide a user experience for the visitor from all perspectives. Someone, did an excellent job interpreting how a visitor would walk through a living exhibit, as well as anticipate what they would like to observe on their walk.
The link to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum: https://naturalhistory.si.edu/events
Question: How do you think the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum virtual tours or exhibits should be preserved for future generations?
Smithsonian Natural History Museum, (2021).Marine Science in the Morning: Mangrove Research in Northern Florida, Retrieved March 25, 2021 from https://naturalhistory.si.edu/events/marine-science-morning-mangrove-research-northern-florida
Smithsonian Natural History Museum, (2021). Events and virtual online exhibits. Retrieved March 25, 2021 from https://naturalhistory.si.edu/events