Harvard University's E-Type Initiative: About



Introduction to the Insect E-Type Protocols

This guide is offered to help anyone wanting to database and/or digitally image their insect collections. It is written in very simple terms since this work should not require a computer expert.

The information presented here is based on digitizing a type collection so it is more rigorous and careful than may be necessary for other collections, particularly the archive protocol. The user should take or leave whatever information they feel is necessary. However, if the guide is to be used for a type collection, it is recommended that the degree of rigor, if not the actual protocol, be matched.

Three different imaging setups are described, from a very inexpensive solution to the top of the range. These descriptions are not intended to describe the best or only systems, but to inform others about systems that are used at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, after more than five years of development -- much of this with limited budgets. They were developed under the guidance of Dr. Piotr Naskrecki, with early and continued assistance by Dr. Gary Alpert and Dr. Brian Farrell.

In a similar way a Filemaker Pro implementation called MANTIS, the Manager of Taxonomic Information and Species, is described.  It is one of several available database solutions for managing taxonomic information, but is recommended since it is easy to use, runs on both PC and Mac, and can be downloaded free from the web. It is the creation of Piotr Naskrecki. For management of specimen information with images and presentation on a website, some type of database system is absolutely necessary, particularly for large datasets.

Note: Information in this guide is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0237505. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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