News from the DaSSCo mass digitisation programme – January to March 2024

Our second pinned insect workstation at NHMD is now up and running and we released a new version of our Mass Digitisation App. Continue reading to find out more news from DaSSCo!

June 25, 2024

Team news

Last quarter DaSSCo extended the contract with our technical intern, who successfully completed a student project about connecting and synchronising programs developed by DaSSCo as part of automated data pipelines. He has since been working to help us integrate and update the system he designed.

We sadly also had to say goodbye to our data manager for our digitisation app. We wish him many best wishes with future endeavors.

Digitisation news

DaSSCo started digitisation on the second pinned insect workstation at NHMD. This is currently being used to facilitate a research project on dung beetles. The project will primarily provide new keys to Danish Dung Beetles and drive digitisation of museum specimens and their associated data as well as contributing to future ecological studies. A NHMD employee is working closely with DaSSCo on this project and helping us identify potential modifications to our digitisation workflow, whilst collecting valuable research data.

19,773 specimens were digitised by DaSSCo in the first quarter of 2024. This is down from last quarter, due to the Herbarium workstation at Priorparken being out of action whilst we modified it.

Science Museums Aarhus (AU) and The Natural History Museum Aarhus (NHMA) have been busy testing their new workstations. It is hoped that digitisation will start there in May or June 2024.

Development news

At the Zoological Museum (NHMD) the Technical Team have collaborated to design and build a modified herbarium workstation (to replace the old one). The new design addressed issues with the evenness of the lighting and provides a much more stable set up. The new herbarium setup is now up and running.

DaSSCo released a new version of the Mass Digitisation App on 27th February 2024. The new features include displaying taxon authors and years to facilitate recognition of homonyms, incorporating a numbering system for taxa used by NHMA (so they can add taxa via taxon names or via taxon numbers) and an ability to indicate if the label or specimen is unavoidably obscured in an image.

A small DaSSCo team have been continuing to capture requirements for the next stage of digitisation (transcription). This involves capturing and parsing specimen information from images of labels and adding this to Specify. Contact us if you want to know more.

Other news

DaSSCo staff had the possibility to join a fascinating introduction (by Thomas Pape, President of the ICZN (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature) to taxonomy for zoologists at the Zoological Museum (NHMD) in February. Everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed the talk and have a much firmer grasp on why scientific names matter.

DaSSCo presented a poster at the launch of NORA (National Open Research Analysis) in March 2024. Details on the new Danish research portal can be found here: The conference was filled with presentations and posters from numerous research institutions and many were interested to hear about DaSSCo.

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