Join us for a citizen science transcription blitz! Have you ever wondered what’s inside the cabinets at a natural history museum? Are you curious about how scientists use natural history collections to track diseases, discover the history of life, and predict the effects of climate change on biodiversity? WeDigBio, or Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections, is a global event that engages curious people like you both online and onsite in digitizing natural history collections. The Nature Museum is excited to bring WeDigBio to Chicago for the fourth year in a row, and with your help, we can make our own natural history collections data available for anyone to use! Join us at one of our transcription sessions at the Nature Museum. If you can’t join us in person, participate in the worldwide WeDigBio event online. CAS/PNNM’s archives contain manuscripts and audiovisual materials that contain primary source material and provide additional information for our scientific collections. For WeDigBio, we will be transcribing two pieces from the archives dating from the late 1800s. The travel journal of William C. Davidson, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and native of Indiana, documents his three year journey aboard the U.S.S. Olympia in 1895. Davidson wrote about the landscapes and customs he observed during the vessel’s travels to Hawaii, Japan, China, and Siberia. Help us transcribe his logs and enjoy the rare opportunity to see specimens from CAS/PNNM’s scientific collections acquired in Southeast Asia during this time period! A scrapbook from the William Stimpson manuscript collection contains condolence letters to the Chicago Academy of Sciences following the loss of its first museum building in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. These letters, sent to the Academy from individuals and scientific institutions around the world, document a significant moment in the Academy’s history as well as Chicago’s. Specimens collected by Stimpson and other early explorers of the Academy will be on display. This event is most appropriate for adults, although older children may participate if accompanied by an adult. Registration is free.
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