Digitisation of Angair’s extensive collection of flora and fauna drawings and images, newsletters, photos, videos, documents, etc. is well underway with the assistance of a large group of volunteers.
The aim of the DAM project is to compile a comprehensive robust, searchable database of Angair’s pictorial flora and fauna assets, documents and activities for research, use and reuse in multiple ways.
With a grant from the Helen McPherson Trust, Angair has been able to significantly upgrade its computer facilities which not only support everyday operations but also can manage the large amount of data included in the growing database.
One of the key components of the database is to bring together in searchable format the amazing collection of images of the unique flora and fauna of the Anglesea and Aireys Inlet region. The database now holds more than 1000 of Mary White’s flora sketches which she drew over a 26-year period from 1968–1994. In addition, there are the hundreds of wonderful drawings of plants, birds and animals by Ruth Hurst and Kaye Traynor which have been used to illustrate Angair publications for many years. The work of the great contemporary photographers in our membership, including Margaret McDonald, Ellinor Campbell, John Lenagan, Wendy Crebbin, Neil Tucker and Margaret Lacey are also included and available for exploring.
Viewing a Mary White coloured drawing, a Ruth Hurst black and white sketch and contemporary photographs of the same plant alongside each other is very exciting and indicative of the passion this area has evoked over a long period of time.
All items in the database are discoverable using a powerful search tool and come with related information (metadata) provided and verified by Angair specialists. For example, database users can search by scientific or botanical name; particular habitat, plant colour and flowering season to help identify plants they have seen. Users can search by image creator, whether a species is endemic, commonly found or vulnerable. Descriptions and key features of a species are also included.
Other components of the database now getting underway are digitisation and indexation of the Angair newsletters; incorporation of images and videos of Angair people, regular activities, special events and documents all accompanied by useful metadata.
The database will soon be able to be accessed on the new large screen computer in the Mary D. White Resource Centre in the Angair office.