The Curious Task of Digitizing Darwin’s Beans and Butterflies
Fun piece from Gastro Obscura about the challenges of digitizing physical, organic objects.
“I devised a method of cleaning them using a polyurethane sponge between some tweezers,” says Nichols, a Book and Paper Conservator at the Cambridge University Library. Beans, it turns out, have a tendency to go flying if not carefully held, so she fashioned a makeshift silicone-tipped shaper. Essentially a brush handle equipped with tiny silicon hairs for grip, the tool kept her tiny subjects locked in place while she primped and polished. “Much to the amusement of my colleagues, [the beans] made little squeaky noises.”
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