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You can spend a few hours helping Field Museum scientists later this month

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

The exhibitions and artifacts on display at the Field Museum are always exciting to visit, but we sometimes fantasize about spending an entire day working amid the impressive collection of specimens. Next week, the Field Museum will allow visitors to become volunteers and help the institution digitize its physical collection as part of a four-day Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections (or WeDigBio, for short) event.

From Thursday, October 20 to Sunday, October 23, the Field Museum will be enlisting volunteers to help transcribe the labels on its various specimens (some of which are more than a century old) so that scientists all around the world can have access to the information. There will be two volunteer sessions each day, running from 8:30am to noon and 1 to 4:30pm—all participants will be given a behind-the-scenes tour and will receive free general admission to the museum for the remainder of the day. You can register to participate in any of the WeDigBio sessions on the Field Museum's website.

Next week's sessions will mark the second year that the Field Museum has participated in the WeDigBio program—last year, volunteers digitized 7,500 of the Field Museum's specimens. If you can't make it to the museum, you can participate remotely by transcribing collections online throughout the four day event (just select "participate remotely" when you register).

“Digitizing these collections is crucial to Field Museum research and to research by scientists from around the world,” Matt von Konrat, head of the museum's Botanical Collections stated in a press release. An item that is digitized by a WeDigBio could potentially lead to a groundbreaking scientific discovery—wouldn't you like to add that to your résumé?

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