Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Importance of Fossil Labeling

Here is a two part video on the importance of the fossil labeling. The presentation was given at a Dry Dredgers meeting (Cincinnati, Ohio, USA). The presenter is John Tate who is a volunteer at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History and Dry Dredger member.

Ouch, I am guilty of not labeling all my fossils though I am trying to get better. Lots of good advice in the video and I can relate to curating issues of trying to figure out specimens with poor or no labels.

They appear to have a nice computer collection system at the museum.  Cincinnati is fortunate to have a rich set of resources with the Dry Dredgers and the many Ohio universities with natural sciences faculty.  Louisville, Kentucky is not quite at that level. I will say using a spreadsheet is a pretty good and cheap way to track specimens.  Having an SQL database does not hurt either.

Also at the Falls of the Ohio State Park web site check out naturalist Alan Goldstein's "Curating Your Fossil and Mineral Collection" article.

Jessica Utrup, a curator at the Yale University's Peabody Museum, also has some thoughts about this topic on her blog at Spineless Wonders.

Thanks to Dry Dredger's Greg Courtney (flyingscience) for posting so many educational videos on paleontology on YouTube.