A new survey of U.S. natural history collections is being launched by CollectionsWeb.  This comprehensive survey aims to inventory all U.S. natural history collections, produce a comprehensive database of this information, and establish a baseline for periodically assessing status and trends.  The collected data will be shared with the natural science collections community for use in their research or for grant writing.

In recent years, efforts by the federal government have improved our knowledge of the number and status of natural history collections in the U.S.  The reports released by the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections and the National Science Foundation (NSF) provide valuable information about federally held science collections, however, these surveys reached less than half of U.S. natural history collections.  The CollectionsWeb survey will complete the knowledgebase of collections in this country.

As a Partner Organization of the NSF-funded Research Coordination Network (RCN) grant, “Building a Community of Natural History Collections”, the Natural Science Collections Alliance is promoting this initiative to its members.  Please complete the CollectionsWeb Survey of U.S. Natural History Collections at http://www.museum.tulane.edu/collectionswebsurvey/.

For more information about the survey, please refer to this document (RCN Survey 2009) written by Dr. Hank Bart, a Co-PI on the NSF grant and an NSC Alliance board member.