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Darwin-L Message Log 8:88 (April 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<8:88>From fwg1@cornell.edu  Tue Apr 26 12:12:37 1994

Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 13:12:33 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: fwg1@cornell.edu (Frederic W. Gleach)
Subject: FWD: Online access to Bishop Museum data

The following message from another list looked like something in which many
Darwinists would be interested.  My apologies for any duplications.

        Frederic W. Gleach (fwg1@cornell.edu)

******************  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS  *********************
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 23:07:56 -0400

Original Sender: Anita Manning <bishop.bishop.hawaii.org!manning>
Mailing List:    NATIVE-L (native-l@gnosys.svle.ma.us)

Bishop Museum
Honolulu, HI

MEMORANDUM
TO:             List Recipients

FROM:           Anita Manning, Asst. Director, Collections Management
                Bernice Pauahi BISHOP MUSEUM, HONOLULU, HAWAI'I

SUBJECT:        effect of on-line databases on museum collections access

Bishop Museum is a natural history museum specializing in Hawai'i and the
Pacific. We are located on O'ahu but are a state-wide museum, trying to
serve a population on several islands.  We are planning to reach our
state-wide audience, and Hawaiians wherever they live, by increasing
public access to collection information via future on-line database access.
We currently have library and archival materials cataloged on-line and
available to anyone with internet or OCLC access.  We are proposing
various levels of detailed catalog access to cultural and biological
collections with a representative number of examples digitally imaged.  Our
experience to date is with on-line library and archival catalogs (try us
via any CARL-system library catalog or via University of Hawaii, UHCARL -
telnet uhcarl.lib.hawaii.edu - type "75" at main UH menu ).

Some planners _believe_ on-line access to biology and cultural collections
will DECREASE requests for access to the actual collection items, that
on-line data combined with many images of will satisfy most public and
many scientific users.

Some planners _believe_ on-line access will INCREASE requests for access
to the collection, that data on-line will create new questions and new
ideas that will NOT be satisfied by data in the catalog, questions that
will be answered only by examination of the specimen.

Some planners _believe_ on-line access will satisfy many questions of the
biological collections, but will INCREASE requests for access to cultural
collections, that once people know what is in museums, they will be eager
to learn from and use the collection.

Using yourself as a potential user of on-line databases, I would appreciate
feedback from the list.  If you had access to information of this sort,
and it was related to a subject area of interest to you, would
availability increase interest and requests for access to the actual
collection?  Would a picture and description answer many questions?  or
would it raise new questions?

I am also soliciting responses from museums with REAL experiences, and HARD
data on users. Some museums already have catalogs on internet, with access via
gopher.  All those are for plants, animals, geological specimens.

Many thanks for any responses; your feedback will really help us.

You may respond to <manning@bishop.bishop.hawaii.org> or to this list.

I will be in Seattle and central Washington for two weeks, but your
messages will be monitored here and I'll try to log in from borrowed
terminals.

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