UW Geological Museum Receives IMLS Grant to Digitize Rare Fossils

Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the University of Wyoming Geological Museum will be able to make more of its rare fossil mammal collection available to researchers, schools, and the public.

The two-year project, “The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-PG) Fossil Mammal Project: Digitizing and Sharing Wyoming’s Rare Fossil Mammal Collection for Understanding Mammal Extinction and Recovery through Ecosystem Collapse,” will support the creation of 15,000 research-quality images of 5,000 rare mammal specimens from the collection, which spans the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction.

The 5,000 specimens to be digitized originate from sites in Wyoming, including the Big Horn Basin, Hanna Basin, the Great Divide Basin near Bridger, and the Lance Formation located near Lusk. Once digitized, images from the project will be made globally accessible through both the museum’s online database and the large data aggregator and web portal.

UW Libraries’ Chad Hutchens, Director of the Digital Collections Office, will coordinate with Information Technology and the Advanced Research Computing Center to secure web-accessible and preservation-level storage of specimen images and associated metadata. Hutchens will also supervise an undergraduate student who will handle file management and transfer, metadata entry, and quality assurance.

Read the full story to learn more about the project.

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