University of Florida ornithologists are preparing to digitize nearly all of UF’s analog bird-sound field recordings, one of the largest collections in the Western Hemisphere with 23,650 cataloged recordings representing about 3,000 species. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the three-year, $446,000 project will make the collection at UF’s Florida Museum of Natural History more readily available to scientists and the public for bird research and identification. The project will involve more than 2,200 reel-to-reel and cassette tapes of a diverse collection of bird sounds, with a primary focus on New World birds. The digitization process, which begins in January, will result in public access to the recordings via the museum’s Web site. The museum plans to one day have all its recordings available online. The only sounds currently available are about 100 recordings of Florida birds.
“Virtually the entire collection will be available in some form on the museum Web site,” said Thomas Webber, ornithology collections manager at the Florida Museum, on the UF campus. “It includes excellent field recordings dating back to the 1960s from a number of active amateurs and prominent professionals.” Read more at University of Florida News.