DigiVol: engaging volunteers to digitise museum collections – Booth 10

Megan Lawrence, Australian Museum , Australia, Megan Lawrence, Australian Museum , Australia

The Australian Museum (AM), in collaboration with The Atlas of Living Australia, developed DigiVol to harness the power of online volunteers to digitise data locked away in biodiversity collections, handwritten field notebooks and survey sheets.

Holding millions of specimens and objects, many of which were collected long before databases existed, each object within the AM holds important historical data. Handwritten labels contain information on what the specimen is and identifies when and where it was collected. This demonstration will illustrate how DigiVol engages volunteers to help capture this valuable data in the museum’s collections.

With around 1352 current volunteers, we have successfully transcribed 250424 tasks, mainly of specimen labels, field notebooks as well as tagging images. DigiVol continues to grow to include more institutions across the GLAM cultural sector harnessing the power of their online volunteer community to decipher collection information into accessible data.

Faber, M. (2015). DigiVol reaches 1000 volunteers and more! ALA Blog. July 13, 2015. Consulted August 3, 2015. http://www.ala.org.au/blogs-news/digivol-reaches-1000-volunteers-and-more/

Flemons, P. & P. Berents. (2012). “Image based Digitisation of Entomology Collections: Leveraging volunteers to increase digitization capacity.” In V. Blagoderov & V.S. Smith (eds). No specimen left behind: mass digitization of natural history collections. ZooKeys 209: 203–217.

Flemons, P. et al. (2015). DigiVol: A new way of volunteering. Presentation for Ignite Volunteering Conference, June 1, 2015. Consulted August 12, 2015. http://www.volunteering.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Paul-Flemons-DigiVol-a-new-way-of-volunteering-CFV-Conference-2015.pdf

Kearney, Nicole and Elycia Wallis. "Transcribing between the lines: crowd-sourcing historic data collection." MWA2015: Museums and the Web Asia 2015. Published August 14, 2015. Consulted October 16, 2015.

Kearney, N. (2015a). Transcribing field diaries. MV Blog. March 19, 2015. Consulted August 4, 2015. 2015. http://museumvictoria.com.au/about/mv-blog/mar-2015/transcribing-historic-field-diaries-/

Prater, L. (2015). DigiVol: Volunteers making a difference. AM Blog, 25 Jun 2015 http://australianmuseum.net.au/blogpost/museullaneous/digivol-volunteers-making-a-difference Accessed 3 August 2015