specimens vs. "Dead Butterflies"

Woody Woods woody.woods at umb.edu
Fri Jun 8 07:38:33 EDT 2001

One caveat: digital file storage formats will change over the decades, and the
means of reading older files may disappear when we aren't paying attention. I
wouldn't expect this fate to befall, say, GenBank, but it could well happen to
smaller yet valuable digital "collections". This is an issue in the storage of
medical records, but at least the need for the record usually expires when the
patient does, and often much sooner as you mention. Type specimens hopefully
will last somewhat longer! 

Woody Woods

Michael Gochfeld wrote:
> ...
> > Xrays are now being "curated" in digital format. (Lucky thing too since
> hospitals can discard the films after 5-7 years).  Will there come a
> time when only digital images of the type specimen (with every
> conceived of digital measurement), and digital biochemical sequences
> remain---the virtual musuem.
William A. Woods Jr.
Department of Biology
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd                      Lab: 617-287-6642
Boston, MA 02125                        Fax: 617-287-6650


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