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This is a new project begun in Fall 2007. The main idea is to update and expand the inventory of the collection held in PRC33. This will increase the speed with which our material can be made accessible for research and education.
An earlier inventory done in 1976 by Chris Durden (at that time curator of geology and entomology) provided a listing of about 7500 drawers at the level of geological age and formation. That study gave a broad view of the contents of the repository and, for example, provided a means to analyze the coverage of the collections.
The collection, however, has expanded considerably since that survey was completed. The original survey did not provide details of the locations of specimens in those drawers so there was no way to connect the growing information database with the actual, physical specimen. Since 1999 we have been slowly inventorying the contents of the drawers and digitally pairing catalog details with specimens, with the help of an intermediary aid, the GIS map.
The Mass Inventory seeks help from volunteers. They are methodically tackling this inventory task, starting in the East cage of PRC33.