In addition, specimens collected by the old Bureau of Biological Survey and Fish and Wildlife Services eventually come to the Smithsonian, which also acquires the associated field notebooks. One question raised in discussion was how to prioritize the collection and dissemination of data, since these activities are not globally organized and seem at times to be opportunistic. Finally, because data are place‐based and culturally relevant, students would also be working at the interface of science and society. But where the data are reliable, the results can be impressive. These discussions made it clear that there is growing interest in the preservation and use of an extraordinary range of historical records, and also in digitizing and making the data widely available. 2016). Deborah Paul discussed the work of iDigBio (Integrated Digitized Biocollections,, a National Science Foundation (NSF)‐funded project that is now in year 6 of 10. iDigBio is part of the NSF's Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections Program (ADBC) (Cooperative Agreement EF‐1115210) and is based at The University of Florida, The Florida Museum of Natural History, and Florida State University. Culture is represented through the art, literature, costumes, customs, and traditions of a community. Constantine Rafinesque's field book from the early 19th century, in the Smithsonian Institution's extensive collection of journals and field books. “The Importance of History and Historical Records as Ecologists Confront the Anthropocene” was the theme of the Organized Oral Session sponsored by the Historical Records Committee and organized by Julie Mulroy and Zoe Nyssa. The importance of museums as repositories of natural history collections, along with their associated field books, photograph collections, and in some cases … stream The Society has a rich collection of over 30,000 photographs, slides, negatives, plates, and films documenting human interactions with the environment in the 20th century (Fig. It would teach students how to engage in interdisciplinary work and operate within a collaborative network. Ecologists like Livingston and Shreve were starting to build a descriptive historical record that they hoped future ecologists could use to construct a deeper understanding of ecological patterns and processes. Washington, DC 20036phone 202-833-8773email: Learn about our remote access options, Department of History of Science and Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, 21218 USA. The session sought to bridge several disciplines and institutions by including ecologists, historians, science educators, museum archivists, and experts working on the digitization of biological collections.