Zoology 3D: Creating a digital collection of specimens from the D′Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum


Abstract The University of Dundee’s D′Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum houses many fascinating specimens from around the world. Most of them were collected by the celebrated mathematical biologist Sir D′Arcy Wentworth Thompson, the first Professor of Biology at Dundee. 2017 sees the centenary of the publication D′Arcy Thompson’s extraordinary book On Growth and Form. During 2016 a project to digitise key specimens from the collection was undertaken as part of the centenary celebrations. Smaller specimens were scanned using a microCT scanner, while larger specimens were captured using hand-held structured light scanners. The resulting 3D models were further processed using the software ZBrush before being hosted online via Sketchfab. They were subsequently embedded on a bespoke webpage ( https://www.dundee.ac.uk/museum/collections/zoology/zoology3d/ ) as an extension of the existing University Museum Services website. This article goes on to discuss the resulting collaborations and benefits of sharing museum collections online