Over the past 14 months, we have made nearly 25,000 images of odonates from our Beatty Collection. While the photos of the insects are alone no small feat, they could not reveal the full story behind their collection, as so many of the triangles and envelopes housing the specimens have codes and not collecting events.
The legacy of George & Alice Beatty has been extremely influential on my research goals. The variety of the specimens and the care they put into their preservation is inspiring, though sometimes adding complexity to the process of upgrading and digitizing the collection. In this process of sorting out the collection, George and Alice’s handwriting is ever familiar and their methodology for recording is becoming increasingly decipherable with the help of the Digitization & Preservation Department of the Penn State Libraries.
We had the opportunity to visit the library last month to see the process of digitizing the Beattys’ field notebooks, which span from the 1940s to 1970s. Watching the staff in that department work was very similar in procedure to what we do to digitize our specimens!
We look forward to seeing all of the scans from the library and incorporating them in our workflow for transcription. The future utilization of the field notes will be to fill in gaps in the collecting event data for the Beatty collection, enabling complete record digitization. I will also be using the data for ecological niche modeling projects that will be presented at the International Congress of Entomology and the Dragonfly Society of the Americas meeting. Stay tuned for much more from this collection!