Natural History Collections

Our Expertise

Natural history collections

UNLOCK YOUR COLLECTION’S SCIENTIFIC POTENTIAL

Enter a Digital Renaissance in Natural History

As samples of our world’s biodiversity, natural history collections are an unparalleled source of knowledge and research, yet often inaccessible and underutilized. But with the highest quality digitization of your specimens — from botany to mineralogy, and zoology to paleontology — you can document and safeguard them while allowing the global scientific community ready access for study. You can also provide an online portal open to the general public, allowing them to share the beauty and wonder of the natural world, from current and historical specimens not normally on display.

Advanced digitization software can incorporate optical character reading and machine learning on a mass scale to automatically read hand-written labels, measure the surface area of an object, and even identify plants by species. Better yet, analysis of the metadata attached to the images, such as historical, geographic and taxonomic details, can help researchers uncover subtle trends, unlocking a treasure trove of insights to tackle the most fundamental scientific challenges of our time. With digitization, we are entering an era where your natural history collection becomes a time capsule that can illuminate the past, chart the present, and enable predictions for the future.

That’s where Pixel Acuity comes in.

 Our worldwide client base of major cultural and scientific institutions knows us as the authority on heritage digitization, with an in-depth understanding of the issues and challenges of working with your often fragile collections. Pixel Acuity offers specialized skills, techniques, and workflow experience, combined with advanced digitization technology purpose-built by our hardware division DT Heritage. Together, our team of experts in digitization hardware, software, services and workflow optimization work hand-in-hand to deliver a seamless experience for natural history imaging projects of every possible scope.

 

Why Digitization?

Centuries of Collected Specimens, at your Fingertips

Today, it’s become vital that every museum and scientific institution make the most of their assets in ways that are possible only with the highest quality digitization. With the conversion of physical objects, hand-written labels, and related information into a massive database, the collection can be searched and analyzed by researchers everywhere.

Fundraising

  • Create new licensing and branding opportunities
  • Cultivate patron and donor relationships 
  • Bring new life to marketing campaigns

Storytelling

  • Create online galleries of specimens to stimulate public interest and engagement 
  • Tell stories about objects collected from across the world, over decades, and through the centuries
  • Display hidden treasures from storage and archives 
  • Use geo-referencing and collection data to create stories from a given place and time
  • Enhance exhibitions and events with immersive experiences

 

aCCESS

  • Make available to scientists and researchers worldwide many millions more specimens than can be displayed physically 
  • Link up global collections data, making it possible to address biodiversity challenges facing science and society 
  • Preserve your history — handle and digitize the items once, but access and reuse them in perpetuity, with the highest appropriate resolution for all applications
  • Head off the ravages of time through strategic redundancy

 

MEET PIXEL ACUITY

THE EXPERTS IN NATURAL HISTORY IMAGING

Meet Pixel Acuity

 

Pixel Acuity can help natural history museums, art museums and galleries, and media and entertainment, as well as libraries and archives, by turning physical artifacts into searchable, accessible, digital assets. We provide the expertise and technology necessary for the highest quality digitization of these types of collections, even on a mass scale. Our experience in this field enables us to implement a variety of tools and workflows specifically adapted to the needs of each collection, resulting in:

  • The highest possible resolution and quality control
  • Depth of field and sharpness maximization
  • Precise color balance and light level adjustments
  • Image stacking and stitching when necessary
  • Redaction
  • Barcode capture
  • RAW file capture and all file type conversions
  • File delivery, transfer and storage
  • Optical character recognition

 

Many companies offer digital imaging services, but no one understands the particular requirements of natural history preservation quite like Pixel Acuity. We have decades of combined experience working inside collections from The Smithsonian Institution to The New York Botanical Garden. We expertly deploy imaging devices and software designed expressly for the job by our hardware division, DT Heritage, which was founded by the former Director of Digital Imaging at the American Museum of Natural History. Our cross-functional team of experts blend their unique insiders’ viewpoint with superior technical knowledge to perfect the art and science of heritage digitization. 

That’s who will be working for you — on-site and off — from planning through completion.

Why choose Pixel Acuity?

  • Not sure where to start, how long it will take, what equipment you need, or how to pay for it? The Pixel Acuity team will help plan your project, including technological assessments and development of timelines and budgets, to determine the best solution for your project. 
  • Film Scanning: Pixel Acuity has spent the better part of a decade perfecting film scanning workflows that optimize efficiency, fulfill each client’s unique goals, and conform to the highest image quality standards.
  • Our specialists will design advanced digitization workflows that blend seamlessly with your daily operations. Our proprietary workflow software, DT PixelFlow, uses artificial intelligence (AI) and other techniques to analyze the images and deliver best-in-class optical character recognition (OCR), facial recognition and metadata generation so that your stakeholders can easily find what they’re looking for when repurposing assets.
  • Rare fossils, mineral samples, delicate plant materials, dinosaur skeletons, pinned insects, microscope slides, specimens preserved in fluid — we’ve brought all of that and more from the material world into the digital realm.
  • No need for risk handling, packing, and transporting your fragile, one-of-a-kind items. Wherever your collection is in the world, we’ll bring the team and equipment to you. Learn more about our international capabilities by reading about Pixel Acuity’s recent trip to Estonia.
  • Pixel Acuity can produce 130 megapixel images, the highest image quality on the market and more than five times the pixel density now common in Cultural Heritage imaging. Since you’re making the effort to digitize, we make sure the quality stands the test of time — so that you can repurpose it in multiple ways well into the future.
  • Our preservation-grade practices meet the highest Cultural Heritage imaging standards, including FADGI, Metamorfoze, and ISO 19264.

Many of the world’s most respected organizations have trusted Pixel Acuity to digitize their prized collections, no matter their age, condition, size, or shape. Get the full picture by reading our case studies.

 

Industry Leading

Imaging Technology

 

We fully appreciate the importance of blending seamlessly into your institution’s daily operations, and can digitize your artifacts in our own facility, or on your own site if they can’t be moved from their permanent location. Our digitization hardware, and software enabled by artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies, are designed to work together smoothly with carefully optimized workflows.

  • Purpose-built rapid-capture systems create an ultra-high-resolution digital copy of your collection quickly and systematically. The result: minimize cost and radically shorten the time required for capture.
  • Pixel Acuity’s DT PixelFlow software enables our team to make the most of digital assets by extracting, analyzing, and transcribing text using optical character recognition (OCR) and applying artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to provide facial, object, and geographic descriptive metadata information.
  • By combining DT Heritage hardware solutions, Pixel Acuity’s artificial intelligence (AI) processing software, and our team’s expertise, we can digitize anything – even deteriorating film or works on paper, and 3D objects like minerals, fossils, plants and animals – at a level of detail you cannot get anywhere else.

MAKE YOUR ASSETS WORK FOR YOU

Enhance the value of our natural history

 

The specimens in your collection are vital to grasping the science of taxonomy and the human need to understand the natural world. There is tremendous value in every one of these cultural assets, and digitization unlocks that potential. Scientists and researchers from around the world can access and analyze the combined data. Your staff and all your stakeholders can use your one-of-a-kind digital assets to create ads, social media campaigns, membership programs, and other brand-building efforts that raise your profile. Even license images to publishers and advertisers, or inspire a director with the historical information to accurately recreate the natural world of the past. The list is endless.

Digitization is the key to uncovering the full value of artifacts in natural history and art museums, libraries, archives, media and entertainment, sports franchises, and many other fields. The beauty of digital assets is that they are clearly differentiated, unique, endlessly reusable, and ideally suited to the digital and social media age. By digitizing your science or cultural collection and adding the assets to your content management system you can turn those precious items into new value . . .  and create a digital record of your history in the process!

Ready to learn more?

Find out how to digitally transform your natural history collection!