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Late in 1998 a team of specialists took on the three year task of computerising the mass of Orkney's biological records, a mammoth project which had already had its groundwork laid by Orkney Field Club.
The team consisted of Ross Andrew as manager, and Dianne Learmonth, Linda Bartlett and Sydney Gauld as part-time technicians.

The work was done using the database Recorder 3.3 to store the records and involved initially building a site hierarchy before entering data. By the end of the period 88,969 records were stored on the database. The groups represented in this include fungi, lichens, moss & liverworts, vascular plants, beetles, true flies, dragonflies, stone flies, May flies, caddis flies, bumble bees, spiders and birds.

It was at this time that a new recording package, Recorder 2000, was introduced, more commonly known as R2K, which by the end of the three year period contained a substantial number of marine records from MNCR (Marine Nature Conservation Review). At the end of the project the records in 3.3 were transferred to R2K before being migrated to Recorder 6.

The Orkney Biodiversity Records Centre, as OWIARC was originally known, was housed within Orkney Library & Archive and moved to new, custom built, premises in December 2003. The new premises provided the OBRC with office premises and storage space for their collections. The OWIARC continues to work closely with county recorders to ensure the smooth transition of records to the centre.

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