Restoration, archiving, and digitalization of the Museum collections (The case of Zoological Collections, Georgian National Museum)


Vera Pkhakadze, Vakhtang Tsintsadze, Medea Tsotselia, Nataly Snegovaya, Nino Giorgobiani, Maia Intskirveli, Alisa Datunashvili, Nino Datunashvili, Zurab Tvalchrelidze, Salome Svanadze

The paper presents a pilot case of scientific revision and inventory process in the zoological collection of the Georgian National
Museum (Tbilisi). By the special decree of the President of Georgia, the Georgian National Museum was established in 2004.
Unifying fifteen museums, the National Gallery and two scientific centers it is the largest museum complex in the country. Its
zoological collection is one of the oldest in Caucasia. Among them are endemic, relict, and other rare species protected by
international conventions, and many are listed as endangered or deleted species in Georgia. Considering their importance, age and
overall condition of the objects and documentation the reorganization of zoological collections was started as a pilot case in
rehabilitation and cataloguing of GNM collections. Complete collections of Arachnidae (Opiliones) were studied and organized;
Species of the family of Trogulidae, Nemastomatidae, Sclerosomatidae, Phalangiidae, order Harvestmen (Opiliones) from the class
Arachnida, have been identified. There were in total 31 Harvestmen species from 4 families (Trogulidae, Nemastomatidae,
Sclerosomatidae, and Phalangiidae) identified. One species of which - Odiellus zacariensis Mkheidze, 1952, is new for Azerbaijan
fauna and four species: Trogulus rossicus Silhavy, 1968, Opilio sylvestris Snegovaya 2010, Opilio caucasicus Snegovaya 2010, Opilio
nabozhenkoi Snegovaya 2010 are new for the fauna of Georgia. Also two new species: Rilaena kelbajarica Snegovaya et Pkhakadze,
2014 and Phalangium mcheidzeae, Snegovaya, 2014 [5-6] have been described. Museums today aim to become a platform for
developing and spreading scientific knowledge. Based on different collections: art, anthropology, archaeology, natural history etc. –
they become unique catalysers for interdisciplinary studies. Object-based scientific collections can open new areas of research
across different disciplines. In this regard management of museum collections, information about them and making it accessible for
scholars of different research fields and countries is a main task for a modern museum. Therefore, it is crucial to systematize the
objects and collections, create new knowledge in collaboration with the academia and museum professionals internationally and
promote the scientific knowledge for broader audience. The outcomes of the study will enhance the process of integration of GNM
collections in international museum system and academia.
Key words: Museum; Collection; Zoology; Digitalization; Taxonomy; Revision
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