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Join the Dots collection-level descriptions

The records in this dataset provide a high-level summary of the Natural History Museum's collection and encompass the material managed by its Life Sciences, Earth Sciences and Library & Archives departments. The data has been gathered, structured and published with the intention of providing some level of visibility into the scope, nature and composition of the Museum's holdings, the majority of which have yet to be digitised. The 2,800+ records in this dataset represent the majority of the NHM collection, approximately 78 million items, and should be treated as an index or discovery tool: they are an indicative view of the Museum's holdings, a source of high-level figures and a signpost towards the relevant curatorial team to contact for more in-depth information.

Descriptive fields

Each record in the JtD collection-level records table describes a group of objects, referred to as a 'collection unit'. Collection units can range in size from a handful of objects to several million and are defined by a set of high-level characteristics common to the objects within them (e.g., taxonomy, straitgraphy, item type, preservation method). Controlled vocabularies and external authority lists underpin descriptive fields wherever possible: see Data dictionary for field-level definitions and guidance for all fields used in this dataset.

Collection metrics

The count fields indicate the scale of each collection unit in terms of the estimated quantity of 'items' (specimen-level or equivalent) and 'curatorial units' (objects physically managed during curation activities, such as jars or boxes) it holds. The 'reporting count' field should be used when aggregating multiple units and is the default collection size metric used by the Museum both internally and externally.

Assessment scores are allocated by curatorial teams and are an attempt to indicate subjective or mutable qualities of each collection unit, such as outreach potential, scope and significance, physical accessibility and level of information available. See Data dictionary and Join the Dots User Manual for scoring definitions and examples. Scores are updated on an annual basis and are best viewed as a benchmark of the state of a collection unit/group of units: they are intended to allow us to track the impact of collection care, development and management activities over time and are not intended for use as a comparative measure between different areas of the collection.

Join the Dots Framework

The criteria underpinning collection units and the methodology by which they are quantified and assessed is defined in the Join the Dots (JtD) cross–disciplinary collection assessment framework, developed and used at the NHM since 2018. For details on the full JtD framework see Join the Dots User Manual and the summary paper referenced below. Note that not all fields referenced in the JtD specification are included in this dataset: a subset is presented to avoid compromising the security of the collection and to provide a level of detail relevant to an external audience.

Further references

Data and Resources

Cite this as

Natural History Museum (2022). Join the Dots collection-level descriptions [Data set]. Natural History Museum.
Retrieved: 11:51 21 Apr 2024 (UTC) BibTeX

Additional Info

Field Value
Primary contributors
Natural History Museum ( 039zvsn29)
Other contributors
Lees, David;
Bond, Alexander ( 0000-0003-2125-7238);
Vaccaro, Epi;
Bonney, Heather ( 0000-0003-0441-7877);
Dale-Skey, Natalie ( 0000-0001-7582-0386);
Cooper, David;
Sendino, Consuelo ( 0000-0003-4823-2145);
Hunnex, John;
Kocher, Simon;
Ablett, Jonathan ( 0000-0002-7277-1934);
Hansen, Robin ( 0000-0001-6659-7573);
Streicher, Jeffrey ( 0000-0002-3738-4162);
Adams, Zoe J. O. ( 0000-0001-9617-2066);
Garner, Beulah ( 0000-0002-5229-2450);
Bernard, Emma ( 0000-0003-4274-7615);
Rausa, Hannah;
Lowe, Miranda ( 0000-0002-5531-4168);
Martin, Geoff ( 0000-0002-1394-4620);
Stukins, Stephen ( 0000-0003-3551-8283);
Ellis, Len;
Paul, Alison;
Giusti, Alessandro ( 0000-0003-2411-1701);
Ives, Rachel ( 0000-0002-2980-7495);
Ewin, Timothy ( 0000-0002-0933-9954);
Tomsett, Louise;
Jenkins, Paulina ( 0000-0002-8250-0601);
Harrold, Emma;
Beccaloni, Jan;
C. Yesilyurt, Jovita ( 0000-0002-2157-3380);
Thompson, Katie;
Wilbraham, Joanna ( 0000-0003-4101-0611);
Ryder, Suzanne;
Holstein, Norbert ( 0000-0001-9892-0355);
Maclaine, James ( 0000-0001-6722-9123);
Miller, Giles ( 0000-0001-9111-2136);
Almeida, Natasha;
Cesar, Edgley ( 0000-0002-1245-6086);
Geiser, Michael ( 0000-0002-9278-2358);
Smith, Caroline ( 0000-0001-7005-6470);
Zilli, Alberto ( 0000-0002-3416-8069);
Sivell, Duncan;
Huertas, Blanca ( 0000-0002-9807-4790);
Woodburn, Matt ( 0000-0001-6496-1423);
Spencer Jones, Mary ( 0000-0002-9332-8325);
Broad, Gavin ( 0000-0001-7223-5333);
Rabone, Muriel ( 0000-0002-8351-2313);
Price, Benjamin ( 0000-0001-5497-4087);
Brewer, Philippa ( 0000-0001-7728-1021);
Darrell, Jill;
Stevens, Lil ( 0000-0001-6557-4302);
Sherlock, Emma ( 0000-0003-4334-1131);
Day, Michael Oliver ( 0000-0002-7947-8204);
Hart, Andrea ( 0000-0002-6390-9858);
Mackenzie-Dodds, Jacqueline ( 0000-0002-5747-9943);
Hughes, Zoë ( 0000-0002-1398-5211);
Campbell, Patrick ( 0000-0001-7473-7740);
Om Prakash, Ranee ( 0000-0002-6869-2520);
Barclay, Maxwell ( 0000-0003-4989-2014);
Smith, Melanie ( 0000-0002-3739-2197);
Vincent, Sarah ( 0000-0002-4012-0571);
Van Grouw, Hein ( 0000-0002-3600-4279);
McAlister, Erica ( 0000-0002-8558-3510);
Valentine, Clare ( 0000-0002-3955-8920);
Booth, Roger;
Portela Miguez, Roberto ( 0000-0003-3094-9949);
Maidment, Susannah ( 0000-0002-7741-2500);
Hayes, Peta Angela ( 0000-0002-3281-3247);
Salvador, Andreia ( 0000-0003-4852-1529);
Sabin, Richard C;
Webb, Mick ( 0000-0002-1312-6142);
Pappa, Roula;
White, Judith;
Hardy, Helen ( 0000-0002-9206-8357);
Russell, Douglas ( 0000-0002-1799-7842);
Wyatt, Nigel;
Wajer, Jacek ( 0000-0002-2329-9186);
Rumsey, Michael ( 0000-0002-2160-8504);
Adams, Mark;
Telnov, Dmitry ( 0000-0003-3412-0089);
Brown, Laura;
Loader, Simon ( 0000-0003-4162-0575);
Hughes, Lauren Elizabeth ( 0000-0002-5679-1732);
Carine, Mark ( 0000-0002-1817-0281);
Weerakoon, Gothamie ( 0000-0001-8290-2910);
Smith, David ( 0000-0003-0912-8169);
Brown, Paul Andrew ( 0000-0002-0593-7762);
Todd, Jonathan ( 0000-0002-0433-1611);
Cooper, Joanne
Temporal extent 2018 - 2023
Update frequency Annual
Last updated May 5, 2023
Last resource update May 5, 2023 (JtD collection-level records)
Created March 29, 2022
License Open Data Commons Attribution License