Curating Biocultural Collections: A Handbook
Biocultural collections cross the boundary between nature and culture, documenting the remarkable
richness and diversity of human engagements with the natural world. They come in many formats,
such as ethnobiological specimens including herbal medicines, clothing or basketry, herbarium sheets,
germplasm, DNA, or archaeological seeds and bones. Biocultural collections also encompass
information, in the form of books and manuscripts, and now in electronic forms such as digital images
and sound, and databases.
This book demonstrates the central importance of such collections for research, and draws on a wide
range of expertise and case studies to show how they should be cared for. Throughout there is a
strong emphasis on meeting the needs of collection users, and for ethical and equitable engagement
with source communities. The book will be of interest to readers in a wide range of fields including
ethnobiology, anthropology, agriculture, botany and zoology, and museum curation.
Written and edited by experts from around the world, this book demonstrates that with proper curation,
data basing, and on-line and physical access, these valuable resources can be used in research,
conservation, development and education, and preserved for future generations.
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