Collections Club

Digitize materials from our collections and contribute to biodiversity research and learning.

A group of volunteers gather in a classroom to digitize collections records. They sit at a set of tables arranged in a "U" shape. A scientists stands in front of the room, explaining the activities for the day.

Collections Club welcomes community scientists (like you!) to explore, curate and digitize Field Museum specimens. Go behind the scenes and take a closer look at specimens and digital records with hands-on curation activities with our scientists. You’ll generate data about early land plants, ferns, insects, mammals, fossilized plants, and more. This information helps scientists with their research by accelerating their discovery and documentation of the natural world. 

Collections Club is inspired by WeDigBio, or Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections. This global event promotes biodiversity research by inviting the public to digitize natural history collections in person and online. In addition to the annual WeDigBio event, Collections Club hosts quarterly events throughout the year.

In the museum or at home, participants go behind-the-scenes with our collections.

John Weinstein

Collections Club brings science enthusiasts together to work together to share data.

John Weinstein

I have contributed to humanity’s collective learning in a real, tangible and permanent way, and that’s pretty cool!

Collections Club member

Impact

Collections Club plays a unique and impactful role at the Field: helping to compile large biodiversity datasets for scientists. Without their work, much of this information would be lost or too difficult to navigate. Our collections are a detailed historical record of species occurrence, morphology, DNA, and more. By digitizing these materials, Collections Club empowers scientists to explore various biodiversity research questions.

Since 2017, over 1,600 club participants:

  • Inventoried over 37,000, fossilized plant, lichen, and moss specimens 
  • Re-packaged and labelled over 18,000 moss and lichen specimens
  • Scanned, databased, and captured digital images derived from over 17,000 specimens 
  • Organized over 11,000 catalog card files of the insect collection 

Join us

The club meets quarterly at the museum, including the WeDigBio event in October. You can also participate online any time. Join Collections Club by emailing wedigbio@fieldmuseum.org.