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Libraries of Life

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Augmented reality is an effective tool in promoting public awareness and accessibility to biodiversity specimens largely hidden from public view in U.S. museums, universities, field stations, and other institutions.  The Libraries of Life project is a collaboration between the U.S. National Science Foundation's National Resource for Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (iDigBio) and a growing number of Thematic Collections Networks (TCNs). iDigBio and the TCNs are focused on creating digital, web-deployed information about the nation's biodiversity specimens to benefit science and society.  Anne Basham and Florida State University's Austin Mast (Department of Biological Science and iDigBio) lead development of the cards and app within iDigBio’s Augmented Reality for Public Outreach (ARPEO) Working Group.


The project is currently aligning with new partnerships to ensure that it will have greater reach while keeping up with the quickly changing landscape of this technology.   


The Miami Blue butterfly A public outreach campaign with the Florida Museum of Natural History using augmented reality to educate the public on the current endangerment of the Florida Miami Blue butterfly. 

Gigantic mantis specimen at a WeDigBio event.

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