Aim of the project

Cataloguing, digitization and scientific indexing of wood patterns and their microscopic specimens (thin sections) from the xylotheque.

Description of the project

ETH Zurich's xylotheque is pursuing four primary goals with this project:

  1. Revision of the collection's indexing by digitizing and conflating the information from various analogue search aids for the existing wood pattern information based on Darwin Core Simple (external link)
  2. Digitization of microscopic wood specimens in the collection with different enlargements (10 to 20 images per section of 400 species) to visualise a large number of the anatomical characteristics listed in identification keys in a vivid and generally accessible way. 
  3. Compilation of explanatory notes for each wood species with an emphasis on linking the wood collection directly to the chair's teaching and research activities and duties
  4. Creation of a freely accessible online catalogue in E-Pics, which renders the digitization performed under the first three points visible in a high-profile form. Also rendering the metadata accessible on ETH-Bibliothek's Knowledge Portal.

Synergies and context

As part of their tuition, the students (especially in the constructional engineering and environmental science degree programmes) are taught about the structure and properties of wood and wood-based materials, as well as processing wood products and their application. Macroscopic wood samples are used by way of illustration in lectures and microscopic identification exercises are conducted in a Master's course. The digitization of the thin sections in the xylotheque and their provision on the internet also enables characteristics that are specific to wood species and particularly important for the aforementioned degree courses to be recorded. The collection can thus be integrated directly in the lecture material and within the scope of e-learning programmes.

July 2016 to September 2019:Project duration

Subnavigation and related Informations

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Prof. Dr. Ingo Burgert
Project coordination
+41 44 633 77 73