Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Implementing 'Museum Victoria Wireless Input System for EMu (MVWISE)' Barcoding for Location Management of a Wet Type Collection
expand article infoChris Rowley, Joanne Taylor
‡ Museums Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Open Access


The Non-Arthropod Wet Type Collection consists of approximately 1660 lots of specimens spread across 13 phyla. The collection covers a range of taxa including Annelida (earthworms, leeches, bristle worms); Echinodermata (sea stars, brittle stars, sea cucumbers); Mollusca (snails, octopus, squid, cuttlefish); Porifera (sponges); Cnidaria (anemones, hydroids). The majority of specimens in the collection are preserved in 70% ethanol or 10% formalin.

Being a collection of zoological type specimens, this collection is considered to be of high scientific value and is irreplaceable. Concerns over possible deterioration and a lack of documented history of preservation, led the Museums Victoria Marine Invertebrate Section and Conservation Department to undertake an audit to assess and document the current state of the collection. The aim of the assessment was to:

  1. establish baseline data covering the physical condition of specimens, jars and seals.
  2. assess the chemical properties of the preservation fluid.
  3. where required, undertake appropriate preventative and remedial treatment.
  4. data gathered from the audit will be loaded onto the museum’s database (EMu).

As part of the audit, implementation of a storage location management system using Museums Victoria Wireless Input System for EMu (MVWISE) was incorporated into the project. Storage location management using MVWISE ensures that object and container records have their current Location updated in EMu when they are physically moved. Implementing object barcoding in a collection that is preserved in fluid where specimens are tiny and stored in vials is problematic. We report on the strategy used to overcome these issues without compromising the best practice for fluid preserved specimens. Advantages of barcoding the fluid preserved specimens of the Invertebrate Type Collection at Museums Victoria include the ability to easily audit the collection even when the taxonomic nomenclature has changed.


barcoding, location, management, collection, fluid

Presenting author

Chris Rowley, Collection Manager, Marine Invertebrates Collection and Joanne Taylor, Manager, Natural Sciences Collections

Presented at

Poster presented at 2018 joint meeting of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) and Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG), 25 August to 1 September, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Hosting institution

Otago Museum and the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

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