In the age of the Internet, engaging the public online is critical to building audiences and broadening support for natural history. While collections managers have been providing online access to collections through sophisticated database search interfaces, less progress has been made to present these resources in a user-friendly framework. Some museums are thinking in terms of networked online knowledge and radically shifting the way they broker their digital content. This research examines ways natural history can be effectively presented online to the public by reviewing relevant literature, analyzing six model sites with a heuristic evaluation tool and a user survey, and exploring three case studies through project personnel interviews. Findings summarize important strategies for cultivating creative online access to natural history digital resources and culminate in offering guidelines for building these “cybercabinets” of digital natural history specimens.

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