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Old note books and what to do with them

Bruce McKinlay

11 Brugh Place, Waverley, Dunedin 9013

As the recognition of eBird as the key depository for historic as well as current ornithological observation grows we are left with the residual problem of what to do with notebooks and the records contained in them.  A case study of this challenge has been being worked through in Otago in the last three years.  George and Doreen Grant were long term members of the society and kept notes of the birds they saw in the South Island in the period 1966-1995.  These hand written records reported the distribution of 54 species of birds. Based on the Taieri Plains at this time enabled the Grants to be close observers of the pattern of cattle egret and black-fronted dotterel on the plains at this time and they made c. 500 observations of these two species.

The challenge of digitizing these records and the importance of completing this to the stage of uploading these records to eBird is discussed.   The priority for members to complete this work themselves is highlighted and the benefit.