Digitisation is often focussed on cultural heritage materials. However, it’s remit can be wider than that as this digitised collection of butterflies demonstrates. The work has been done by the Linnean Society of London, the world’s oldest active biological society.
The next question for the project team must be this: now they have established this collection online, how are they going to integrate their collections with others of scientific value?
Representatives from the UK funding bodies Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) which spoke at an event in spring 2008 which suggested there was not much enthusiasm from them for digitisation.
One of the rationales for the lack of appetite for digitisation is the supposed failure of the NOF-digitisation programme, which ran from 1999 to 2004.
But is there actually any formal evidence of this? And if there is, what mistakes could be learnt from it? Could there be a way that we could be running improved programmes for the cultural heritage sector, quite possibly for much lesser costs?