Welcome to the EcoReader

A vast store of knowledge on our natural environment is not contained in databases or in digital format. It exists in hand-written and typed field notebooks containing critical ecological and biological details in observations, drawings, and photographs. While there are applications to aid in the digitization of these notebooks or aggregate metadata (e.g. Archivist Toolkit, ArchiveSpace, Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL)) there is no open source application to directly publish, visualize, and query digitized notebooks from source collections that enable direct control over the input and output process via code.

ecoReader was conceived by the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology to extend the cataloging of MVZ Archives' field notebooks quickly and easily making the field notebooks accessible for online viewing. This ecoReader code library re-imagines our previous online reader, designed to easily support multiple data input formats, and uses a common notebook metadata interface, which allows for consistent output using a centralized indexing mechanism. We are grateful to the CLIR Hidden Collections grant (2011) for making this possible.

This portal provides access to digitized field notes from the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Archives as well as unscanned field notes that have been cataloged. Digitization efforts were originally funded in 2003 (NSF Grant No. 0237424) and subsequently funded by inhouse or direct donations. A new partnership with the Smithsonian and the Internet Archive (funded by CLIR) will begin in 2017. We will continue to add more volumes as they are cataloged. Please contact the Archives at mvzarchives@berkeley.edu for more information.