Grant to bring Virginia Museum of Natural History fossil collection online

About 5,000 fossils will be photographed and placed online

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – You're about to have more access to part of the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

The museum just received a $43,289 grant from the federal Bureau of Land Management to digitize a collection of about 5,000 fossils.

They will be photographed and then put on the museum's website and an international database.

The fossils have primarily been sitting in storage since they were donated to the museum in 2013.

VMNH Paleontologist Dr. Alex Hastings hopes this will help generate interest in the museum and serve as a research tool for scientists.

"The real benefit of (having the collection online) is that you can start putting together much bigger data sets of information and from that you can pull out big amounts of data to answer questions like how does evolution work," Hastings said.

The collection is expected to be online by the end of the year.

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