We are currently scanning and archiving Merlin Tuttle’s original collection of 73,000 35 mm Kodachrome slides of bats. We hope to begin making a representative selection of the newly scanned photos available on our website by the end of 2015, though Teresa is already sharing exciting examples through social media (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter). Donations on behalf of the ongoing project are much needed and appreciated.
This collection has served as literally the backbone of scientific, educational and conservation illustration of bats worldwide for over 30 years, and has been featured in several National Geographic articles. Nevertheless, it is deteriorating with age and frequent handling and urgently needs protection. Merlin is committed to making these irreplaceable photos available royalty-free in support of nonprofit education and conservation efforts in perpetuity, but this requires help. One of our first priorities is to scan and keyword the best of this collection, ensuring backed-up security and efficient access to users. Merlin’s life-long policy of making photographs available gratis for nonprofit conservation and education is being streamlined through Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation. More than 250 of his best images are already available for royalty-free downloads by educators and conservationists through our Bat Photos gallery.
Thanks to generous early donations, we were able to hire Teresa Nichta as our full-time slide archivist in August 2015, and by November 15, she had already scanned, cataloged and key worded nearly 7,000 slides. Much editing, captioning and taxonomic species review remains to be accomplished once the slide scanning phase is complete. However Teresa is making excellent progress, and we are delighted to have found such an exceptionally capable person to head this project. Donations on behalf of the ongoing project are deeply appreciated. We especially thank an anonymous donor, Bettina and Travis Mathis and the Verne and Marion Read family for critical early funding.