Electronic access to collections

Museum Informatics Project MIP-ARCH at UCBCMSA.BITNET
Thu May 19 09:28:00 CDT 1994

  - - - - The original note follows - - - -

Date: Thu, 19 May 1994 10:37:53 -0400
From: Mark Camara <camara at horton.Colorado.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list <entomo-l at herman.cs.uoguelph.ca>
Subject: Electronic access to collections
X-Comment: Entomology Discussion List

I had dinner, last night, with a collections manager working for the
federal government, and she made a very interesting criticism of the
current push to make museum collections accessible via internet.
Apparently, rabid collectors of rare and endangered species have begun to
use the internet access to determine locations for profitable collecting,
and have (at least with a few plant species) wiped out very critical
populations.  As an academic, it had never even occurred to me that
making information easily available could lead to this kind of unforseen
and detrimental consequences.  She suggests that the any locality
information more precise than county be protected from electronic access
except by special request.

Any other opinions/experiences/insights on this?

--Mark Camara
  Dept EPO Biology -- CB 334
  U.Colorado, Boulder 80309
  camara at horton.colorado.edu

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