Creating an overview of what we have?
One of the aims of the FES Collection Digitization program is to digitize in detail a cross-section of at least 7 million relevant specimens and related objects from the collection, and to digitize the remaining 30 million objects at a higher, less detailed level. In 2012, 70,000 entomology drawers were digitized by registering each drawer, the species and quantities it contains, the geographic location where the species were gathered, and the exact depot location of the drawer.
Based on that experience, a new project was started in 2014 to treat the remaining specimens that cannot be digitized at a detailed level in a similar way. In this 30M project (where the M stands for million), the remaining specimens will be digitized at the storage unit level, a storage unit being a unit in (or on) which objects are stored, such as boxes, drawers, and shelves. The 30 million specimens the project name refers to are stored in approximately 150,000 of these units, which are scattered throughout several collection facilities. During the 30M project, each of these storage units is labeled with a unique data matrix code that is linked to an empty data record in the central collection registration system. Taxonomic and geographical information located on the exterior of the storage unit are registered in this record, whereas specimen-specific information is not recorded. Finally, all storage unit codes are linked to their corresponding storage location code.
With the 30M project, the basic information of all 37 million collection specimens will be digitized, traceable, and virtually accessible by the end of 2015.The information gathered will be accessible through Bioportal, giving an overview of the taxonomic groups within the Naturalis Collection. This information can be used for research and collection management, but also in deciding which taxonomic groups need further registration at the object level.