IllustraExplora, a project created by Illustraciencia, aims to increase accessibility to natural history and illustration books written before the 21st century currently found in museums and libraries around the world. By bringing visibility to these works, we hope to bring science and nature closer to society.
Publications by past authors and natural illustrators highlight the importance of documenting distinct species in order to advance fields similar to biology. Museums and libraries around the world have successfully preserved a lot of this information. Illustraciencia wants to involve citizens in this collaborative project to help emphasize the importance, information and beauty the publications invoke while also combining art, literature, nature and science to advance our knowledge about all that surrounds us.
Illustraciencia is an initiative organized by the National Museum of Natural Sciences of Madrid (MNCN-CSIC) and the Catalonian Association of Scientific Communication (ACCC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MINECO) and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) through its conviction to help the promotion of scientific culture and innovation.
In order to accomodate our objective, we propose the following to our participants:
- Get in contact with your museums and libraries to gain access to their bibliographic collections
- Choose a book that is related to Natural History and allows for interesting commentary
- Take photos of the book´s cover and illustrations inside it
- Write a short summary of the book
- Comment on 4 illustrations that appear in the book
- Fill out the form on our website.
- Subsequently, submissions will be supervised by the Illustraciencia team and published on our blog and social media
Rules to follow
- Contact the museum or library in your city, explain the goal of this project and make an agreement to visit their bibliographic collection and decide which books are available to photograph
- Take photos: choose 1 photo of the cover, and 4 photos of illustrations inside the book. You can use your camera or cell phone, always respect the museum´s regulations. Try to take a photo of the cover that includes the whole cover and/or illustration. Ty to use sufficient lighting so it is possible to see the content.
Avoid including shadows and reflection.
- Prepare a description of your photos. You can base it off of the information written in the text or the footnotes of the photos. The goal is for readers to not only see the illustration, but also learn something interesting from your contribution.
- Fill out the form with your personal information, the photos you took and your descriptions
We encourage you to share this project and participate using your social media with the hashtag: #IllustraExplora. Mention the museum or library that hosted you and @illustraciencia.