Harvard University's E-Type Initiative: Starter Kit



The E-Type Starter Kit

The E-Type Starter Kit is a training tool targeted at small to medium systematics collections and museums of Africa, South and Central America, the Caribbean and Asia to assist in getting their primary type specimens imaged and on-line. It consists of two stages:

The first stage, supported in part by the David Rockefeller Fund, consists of an informational packet to serve institutions with some digital equipment and expertise (the E-Type Initiative), and highlights the best practices of museums such as the Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT), New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) and Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ). The prototype Starter Kit demonstrates what worked and why, and contains guidelines and step-by-step instructions. Specific procedures for imaging botanical and zoological specimens are outlined. The goal is to present material in multiple media outlets (print, CD, Web) so that the fullest range of access is provided. The Jardin Botanico Nacional and Museo Nacional de Historia Natural in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, plus the Punta Cana Center for Sustainable Tourism and Biodiversity in the eastern Dominican Republic are examples of relatively small research facilities that have developed a coordinated insect imaging and databasing program.

The prototype E-Type Starter Kit will be refined during the second stage. It can be expanded to reach other institutions that lack equipment and expertise (or other combinations of need). Selected institutions could receive basic imaging set-ups (including computer, software, scanner and camera) as part of development during this second stage. Hosting services for image databases, on-site training, and a help-desk for implementation assistance will also be available. E-Type training networks are critical to this endeavor and are built upon present relationships between institutions in developing countries and those based in the United States and Europe. Networks foster outreach and training in specimen curation and handling techniques in conjunction with e-typing. Once their own e-typing programs are established, small to medium institutions would be encouraged to form partnerships with other museums and serve as mentors.

For further information about the E-Type Initiative contact Dr. Piotr Naskrecki.

For questions about imaging or to receive a copy of this website on CD contact David Wrobel.


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