Notes from Nature (Bird Collection)

Transcribing bird collection records for Notes from Nature

At a glance

Transcribe bird collection records.

Type of activity: Online

When? August 2013 to June 2016

This project has now finished. A big thank you to everyone who helped to transcribe the ornithological registers.

You completed over 370,000 transcriptions of bird records in the last three years. This is a major contribution to the digitisation of the Museum's collections.

Such digitisation makes precious biological data more accessible to researchers, which supports research on the natural world.

About the project

The Museum cares for over 780,000 bird specimens - a mixture of mounted birds, skins, eggs and skeletons. Between 1837 and 1990, each specimen that entered the collection was listed in a handwritten register with vital information such as the species name, the date it arrived and where it was collected.

Each specimen was given a unique registration number that appears on a label attached to the bird. Unfortunately, because the information in the registers is not available digitally, it can't be easily linked to the physical specimens.

Through Notes from Nature the public transcribed these handwritten records to make them available digitally, giving scientists around the globe access to the data from one of the world's largest research collections.

Project team

  • Dr Robert Prys-Jones, Bird Collections Manager
  • Tim Conyers, Database Manager: Zoological Collections
  • Lawrence Brooks, Database Manager: Botanical Collections

About the Museum's bird collection