I recently received word from the National Science Foundation that VMNH successfully applied for a grant related to our fossil insect collections. The grant is part of a collaborative proposal that includes most of the major fossil insect collections in the United States: American Museum of Natural History, Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, Illinois Natural History Museum, Museum of Natural History at the University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute, and Yale Peabody Museum, as well as VMNH.
The total grant award is approximately $2.3 million over 4 years, of which VMNH will receive about $105,000. The goal of the project is to digitize the fossil insect collections, including images and data, and make them publicly available through iDigBio and other outlets. VMNH was asked to participate in the project because of our large collection of Triassic insects from the Solite Quarry, such as the one shown above. I’d like to thank all the project collaborators, and especially team leader Dr. Dena Smith of the University of Colorado Boulder, who made this award possible.
On another note, VMNH librarian Mary Catherine Santoro has developed a wordpress site for distributing VMNH’s open access journal Jeffersoniana, as well as VMNH’s other open access publications. Everything currently listed on the site is a free pdf download. Currently the only issues of Jeffersoniana available are numbers 18-29, but we’ll be adding the older issues as soon as we can get them scanned. We also intend to add some of the other museum series, including Memoirs, Guidebooks, and Special Publications as the become available. Our hope is that this will make research published through the museum more accessible. I’ve put a permanent link to the publication site on the sidebar.