2 research outputs found


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    As we enter the tenth year of the Digital Collections Programme at the Natural History Museum, London we have seen an increase in the scale and diversity of our mass digitisation activities, with almost 1.15 million objects digitised from 45 projects across 14 different collection and preservation types. The digitisation team began with two staff members but rapidly increased, over a two year period, to seven, ultimately reaching nine members a few years later. This increase in team size meant we had greater capacity to run simultaneous projects, expand digitisation activities to include collections with more complex needs, expand team knowledge through training, be more reactive to external funding opportunities, support more public engagement activities etc. With this increase in the programme’s activities, outputs and resources, there was also an increase in the volume and complexity of our documentation, which we had to ensure would remain sustainable, and relevant, over time without becoming arduous. In this talk we share and discuss some of the processes and approaches that we have found most effective: Continually review documents and the documenting process, making improvements where necessary; Standardise documentation across projects and activities by using templates for routine documentation, i.e. project proposals, output recording sheets, reports, datasets etc.; Master files with key information, such as an overview, with metrics, for completed, active and future projects, a risks and issues log etc.; Automate metric capture for use in project monitoring, forecasting, output reporting etc.; Reduce redundancy wherever possible.</p

    Ten years of Digitisation at the Natural History Museum, London, BioDigiCon 2023

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    Plenary Presentation to the BioDigiCon 2023 Conference Conference: BioDigiCon 2023 Session: 2023 Collection Digitization Spotlight: NHM London Presentation Date: 2023-09-19 Location: Online (Zoom) Abstract:    In 2014-15, the Natural History Museum, London launched its Digital Collections Programme, entering its 10th year in 2023-24. This recognised that the scale of digitisation required a coordinated, programmatic approach. It also recognised that a digitisation programme - at least at the scale required for the NHM’s collections of some 80 million objects - is not just about digitisation, but was very much conceived as a digital transformation programme that would change NHM culture and catalyse substantial work on people and skills; policy and standards; infrastructure and much more. This talk will reflect on the Museum’s approaches over the decade, what we have learned and some of the areas where we’ve done things a little bit differently. We will discuss roles and careers in our digitisation team; work we have done to understand and make the case for digitisation including the economic case; what we mean by a ‘digital by default’ approach; and where we hope to go next with digitisation at the Natural History Museum and across UK natural science collections.</p