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MCZ Collections Operations

Database & Digitization

The MCZ contains over 21-million specimens in ten research collections. Many of these collections have their specimen data captured and accessible for analyses, such as georeferencing. Data capture for the remaining collections within the MCZ is an ongoing museum-wide priority.

The museum has migrated its legacy specimen records from multiple independent sources to a single centralized database, MCZbase. This new database conforms to recognized standards for natural history collections including the ability to manage and track collection management duties, as well as make the MCZ's historically and scientifically significant holdings available to researchers and the public alike. In addition, various forms of digital media, GenBank data, and other information are linked to the relevant specimen record(s) and are readily accessible through the standard searching protocols.

Outside researchers are encouraged to work in conjunction with MCZ staff to enhance MCZ specimen documentation with data obtained during the research process. The MCZ provides guidelines for researchers to facilitate the efficient intake of specimen information, digital media, and other research data into the museum database, MCZbase. For additional information, or for help with circumstances not covered by these guidelines, please contact MCZ Collections Operations.

MCZbase also meets standards for biodiversity databases and will facilitate numerous worldwide collaborations including, but not limited to, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL).