Since we released the new version of Collections Online in July last year we’ve made the odd fix, or a new feature here and there. You probably don’t notice them but hopefully they’ve made your browsing experience a bit easier. However recently we’ve done a couple of things we thought were worth pointing out. First up, one for those interested in the natural environment collections.
Initially this may look like just one for the scientists out there, but I think it could help enthusiasts, and pretty much anybody else, get a bit more insight into the relationships between species of birds, plants and our other natural environment collections. A new taxonomy browser allows you to browse up and down the scientific classifications of our collection specimens.
For example if you check out the specimen record for this fine fellow (Emperor Penguin) at the right of the page you can see the new Related Taxa section, showing the classification hierarchy. In this new section click on Aptenodytes forsteri (Species) you jump into the species level record. This shows you the other specimens we have for that species. You can then browse up browse up to the broader level (Genus, Aptenodytes) where you can see all the species (and our specimens) that belong to that genus, or you can browse broader again up to the family record Spheniscidae (penguins), and so on. This also applies to our plant (try it with the ferns) and zoological collections, including the ever-popular spiders.
Obviously it’s much easier to move around if you understand the latin names used in the Linnaean structure, but hopefully being able to browse around is at least a start for the non-scientists among us too.
The next step is being able to browse humanities objects for a particular species using the correct taxonomic identification, allowing to see not only our specimens, but objects in our art , photography, Taonga Maori, Pacific or History collections that feature that species.