For SciArt listmembers interested in the history of scientific illustration, Stuttgart's DSI database will be invaluable.
I'm embarrassed that I didn't know about it before Dr. Hentschel's posting.  NB The database welcomes new entries and additions/corrections to existing entries.

Science Gossip and the other  digital humanities projects listings in in Sally Frampton's posting might also be of interest to SciArt members.


Karen Reeds, PhD, FLS
[log in to unmask]
Princeton Research Forum, a community of independent scholars:

Karen Reeds, “Mark Catesby’s Botanical Forerunners in Virginia,” in
The Curious Mister Catesby: A “truly ingenious” naturalist explores new worlds, ed. E. Charles Nelson and David J. Elliott (Athens GA: University of Georgia Press, 2015), Chapter 3, pp 27-38.

Date:    Tue, 3 Nov 2015 05:23:58 -0500
From:    "Dr.habil.  Klaus Hentschel" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Digital humanities projects - a free international online "database of scientific illustrators 1450-1950" (DSI)

 Dear Dr. Frampton, dear Dr. Belknap.
many thanks for your interesting email with links to these three projects. I have had a look at the webpages of Science gossip. What I miss there is a way to search for names of the scientific illustrators identified through your marvellous crowd sourcing.
You seem not to be aware that there is a free online international database of scientific illustrators, already containing more than 10.000 entries of illustrators in natural history and the sciences active
between 1450 and 1950. We have entries from illustrators from more than 100 countries, including nearly 1/3 of them from Great Britain plus more than a hundred from British-goverened India
 A lot of them might also crop up in your rapidly growing database, and it would be perhaps a good idea to avoid that your volunteers start from scrap if they would get a lot more information
available in our database. You can activate global searches in all 20 search fields of DSI, and also search for name variants, monograms and abbreviations. Individual entries to illustrators found in our database
can be linked with a stable url.  Perhaps we can continue to discuss a possible systematic mutual linking off list, but the information on the Stuttgart "Database of Scientific Illustraotrs 1450-1950" (DSI)
might be of interest to all recipients of MERSENNE since it is illustrator-centered and thus complementary to your object- and classification-centered science gossip database. If you are interested, please check out
our growing list of published sources already consulted, and - most importantly - the 20 field search subpag where you can also search for countries of activity, techniques, client names, patrons etc. pp.
A brief description on how to use the database (even though the absolute numbers mentioned in there have more than tripled in the meantime) can be found at
With kind regards from Stuttgart
Klaus Hentschel  and

-----Ursprüngliche Mitteilung-----
Von: Sally Frampton <[log in to unmask]>
An: MERSENNE <[log in to unmask]>
Verschickt: Mo, 2 Nov 2015 6:03 pm
Betreff: Digital humanities projects

Dear All,
Anyone interested in the use of new digital humanities tools – particularly the relevance of ‘citizen science/humanities’ – might be interested in three projects which are being produced in collaboration with the ARHC funded project Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries ( andZooniverse (
Science Gossip ( was launched in March of 2015, and asks participants to classify illustrations in 19th Century natural history journals in order to produce new historical and scientific information on historical species and the participants and illustrators in Victorian natural history. In collaboration with the Biodiversity Heritage Library, ( we have created website which both improves the image search function of a key digital resource, while at the same time uncovering hundreds of previously un-researched participants in sciences from Geology to Archaeology. The project has been very successful, attracting ~8000 participants who have made over 400,000 classifications, accounting for 120,000 classified pages from 18 different journals. Science Gossip has also recently been shortlisted for theBSHS Ayrton prize, which is an inaugural award for websites which engage with HSTM material. (
Orchid Observers ( came out of a collaboration between Zooniverse and theNatural history Museum and is the first project which utilized citizen scientists to both produce the data which goes on to the website, and analyse the data once uploaded. Launched at the start of the Orchid blooming season this year, Orchid Observers asked participants to upload images of orchids found across the British Isles, and once online for users to identify species and habitat, creating an essential new database of Orchid blooming for botanists. The users also have the option of classifying images of historical herbarium sheets from the NHM archives, which will allow researchers to compare historical and modern Orchid specimens.
Constructing Scientific Communities is also developing Diagnosis Londonin collaboration with the Wellcome Library, a new citizen humanities project focused on the Medical Officer of Health reports for 19th and 20th century London.
We welcome all your thoughts on these new projects – for more information feel free to contact:
Sally Frampton (Diagnosis London): [log in to unmask]
Geoff Belknap (Science Gossip): [log in to unmask]
Berris Charnley (Citizen Science): [log in to unmask]

Dr Sally Frampton
Postdoctoral Research Assistant
Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries
2nd Floor
Gibson Building
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter
University of Oxford
Woodstock Road



Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the instructions at