The Botanical Research Institute of Texas Philecology Herbarium holds 1.4 million scientific specimens in public trust, including vascular plants, mosses, lichens, fungi, slime molds, and algae, from around the world. Like many other natural history collections, BRIT is in the process of making the specimen images and data available in a digital form. But to do that, we need your help in transcribing information from the specimens. BRIT has joined with other natural history collections around the world to participate in an annual Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections (WeDigBio) event in a concerted effort to increase the amount of natural history data available to research and the public.
A computer with access to the internet and the ability to read specimen labels from online images describing the who, what, where, when (and sometimes why!) of a scientific collection and then to follow prompts to type that information into separate meaningful fields. If you want to join any online interactive events, these will be presented via Zoom; although not required, a camera and microphone may allow more active engagement.
Read the BRIT Notes from Nature Guide, or take a self-guided orientation anytime by going directly to Notesfromnature.org and look for the BRIT expeditions under “Plants” (anything with “Flora of Texas and Oklahoma”, “TORCH”, “BRIT”, or “VDB” in the title). Ongoing expeditions are listed at the bottom of this webpage, or you may consider joining our weekly #ArmchairBotanist sessions via Zoom (visit Armchair Botanist for more information).
Stay tuned for more expeditions to come.
If you are logged in to a free account on notesfromnature.org, then you can use the talk function (it appears at the top of the page) for general questions, or as you reach the last entry page when transcribing a specimen label, you will see a “Done & Talk” button. If you aren’t logged into NotesfromNature.org, then you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or social media:
WeDigBio 2022 April
WeDigBio 2021 April & October
WeDigBio 2020 October
WeDigBio Lite 2020 (April 16-19): Virtual transcription blitzes were attended via Zoom by a total of 38 participants, on April 17th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on April 18th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants helped transcribe labels from Texas specimens residing in the BRIT and VDB collections, contributing to the TORCH TCN digitization project.
WeDigBio 2018 (October 17-20): Participants helped to transcribe specimen labels from ferns and lycophyte specimens in the NLU collection at BRIT, as well as Texas material from the BRIT and VDB collections. We had an on-site transcription blitz on Saturday, October 19th from 9:30am to 12:30pm for the general public, and a transcription blitz for workshop attendees of the Annual Texas Master Naturalist Meeting in Rockwall, Texas, on Sunday, October 10th from 10am-12pm.
WeDigBio 2017: Online and in-person transcription events.
WeDigBio 2016: Online and in-person transcription events.
WeDigBio 2015 (October 22-25): During this inaugural worldwide event, BRIT held two on-site transcription blitzes that were attended by more than 30 people, including BRIT volunteers, high school students in the BRIT Green Revolution Program, and members of the public.