Monday, 30 July 2012

A Bird In The Hand

Image from the Digital Nature Archive
When I worked at NUS on of my favourite lunch time activities was to eat at the Student Food Court on Lower Kent Ridge Road which was just across from the the then NUS Alumni office.

Walking in the other direction proved to be an equally enjoyable activity as it took me past the main administration block,en-route to the rather quirky Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, originally established in 1849 and relaunched in 1998. I wrote about this museum in an earlier article but in the intervening couple of years it has changed beyond all recognition.

The Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research will soon morph into something quite spectacular and bear little resemblance to what it was previously, apart from retaining some wonderful natural history collections.

In two years time there will be a new Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum built at a cost of some S$46 million. 800,000 Southeast Asian specimens will be housed there and three giant dinosaurs fossils. The latter should certainly pull in the punters. The new museum will be adjacent University Cultural Centre and NUS Museum.
For those of use with an interest in the flora and fauna of Singapore and its tropical neighbours the wait will be considerably shorter as the RMBR has launched the The Digital Nature Archive of Singapore.

This is a truly wonderful resource made available to serious researchers and the browsing public alike.
A site visitor is able to browse through a variety of multimedia and reference source materials: slides and print images, digital images, historical photographs from retired university professors, natural historians, experienced photographers, old local books, etc. video clips and sound clips.

The database makes good use of online technology including YouTube to host its videos. Here is an example; a caged Oriental Magpie Robin singing.

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