We have started digitising the herbarium collection at Kendal museum in this post I will give you a behind the scenes look at the digitisation process.
The Martindale herbarium collection contains over 4000 specimens of flower plants, mosses, grasses and ferns collected in locally in Cumbria as well as specimens collected further afield in Germany, Hungary and America.
An important aspect of digitisation is organising the collections so that all the information about the collection is available and can be linked with the images. Each herbarium sheet in the collection has been given a unique accession number so that its is easily identifiable. The herbarium has been restored, new folders have been made and archival tissue paper has been placed between sheets to protect specimens.
The herbarium collection is being digitised following metamorfoze standards, the National programme for the preservation of paper heritage; set out by the National Library of the Netherlands and the National archives.
The digitisation process requires a human production line to carefully handle and move herbarium sheets into position ready to be photographed. Volunteers and students from the cultural heritage course at the museum have been helping with the process.
Each sheet is carefully placed on the board parallel to the camera, a colour target and gray scale are used to measure colour, resolution and scale.
After the images have been taken the next stage is to process the images. Preservation images will provide a snapshot in time giving a record of the collection now before further deterioration occurs. All images will be available on purpose built website launching in November 2015.