Geological Curators' Group seeks type fossils for 3D scans

Geraldine Kendall, 28.09.2012
Project to promote international access to scientific material
The Geological Curators’ Group (GCG) is inviting museums and collections with macro-fossil type specimens to take part in a 3D  laser scanning project that aims to make scientifically important material available for worldwide study.

The JISC-funded project, GB/3D type fossils online, aims to track down type macro-fossils from as many UK collections as possible, using mobile cameras and a laser scanner to record the specimens.

Photographs and 3D models of all the types will then be made available to download free of charge through a web portal. All holding institutions will receive copies of the photographs and models and the online material will be clearly badged with their logo, contact details and access information.

A budget of £200 per day to cover staff time at participating museums is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

GCG chairman Mike Howe said: “Type specimens define species and subspecies and underpin taxonomy and hence biodiversity studies. Many of the UK type specimens were first described over a century ago, and with the passage of time and the transfer and amalgamation of collections, their present locations are uncertain...

“At a time when collections are being increasingly required to justify their existence, this is a good way of raising their profile and demonstrating their international scientific importance.”

To take part in the project, email

More information on the project is available at this link