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In a unique project, the online database “World Spider Catalog” is being linked to species lists from various European natural history museums, including the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. The database, which is organized from the Museum in Bern, contains more than 48,000 described spider species and additionally offers researchers the complete taxonomic literature as well as now information about type material. The collection of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin – as a modern piece of information and research infrastructure – will thus become more accessible and digitally available throughout the world.  

“For our research we often need to reach back to the type material, i.e. the first named specimens to be described. Despite this it is often a challenge to find out which collection actually contains these animals.”, according to the spider expert Jason Dunlop from the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. Through a digitalization project in collaboration with the natural history museums in Basel, Berlin, Bonn, Dresden, Görlitz, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Linz and Wiesbaden, data about these so-called type specimens will be integrated into the online database “World Spider Catalog”. Further national and international museums should be included in the project in the future.

Link to the World Spider Catalog: https://wsc.nmbe.ch