Wheaton receives grant to digitize marine biology collection
Someday soon, scholars around the world will be able to view thousands of shell specimens from a Wheaton College biology collection—and may even be able to produce plastic replicas using a 3D printer.
It’s part of an ongoing effort among colleges and universities to digitize material collections and make them available to a larger audience, and it’s a cause supported locally by Wheaton’s Digital Initiatives Department, part of Library Information Services, and by a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).
Former Digital Initiatives librarian Amy Bocko first came across Wheaton’s shell collection—more than 3,500 specimens dating as far back as the late 1800s and currently managed by Professor of Biology Scott Shumway—about a year and a half ago, when she was asked to photograph a portion of the collection to highlight on the college website. When the CIC grant opportunity came up more recently, she immediately thought of the shells.
“The grant was aimed at finding hidden collections on campus, digitizing and preserving them, and bringing them to life,” Bocko said.