This page gives access to documents and data relating to the Ensifera Collection of the Florida State Collection of Arthropods. While FSCA includes many of the specimens that enabled the creation of the SINA website, it also has extensive holdings from the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico.
Three useful versions of tblRecordedSongs
The database table “tblRecordedSongs” was created from the 3x5 cards by which the data relevant to the tape recordings of the Walker Tape Library (WTL) were originally preserved and organized. When personal computers and database software offered a more flexible and powerful way to preserve the information recorded on the index cards, the data in the card file were entered into a Paradox
database, with the data on each index card populating one record in the database. Ten years later (in 1998) TJW moved the Paradox
records to records in an Access 97
relational database. In 2003, he migrated the database to Access 2000
. As Microsoft continually increased the complexity of Access
(and the hardware required to run it) he concluded that the advantages of tables in a relational database should be abandoned in favor of using and maintaining the essential tables as independent spreadsheets.
Three spreadsheets derived from tblRecordedSongs were prepared to help FSCA users learn what songs were archived and what data were preserved about the songs and their makers. The three have the same 6460 records but the records are sorted in different ways to facilitate different searches.
In Version 3a
the records have been sorted by their six-digit Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds (MLNS) catalog numbers (e.g., 121031). FSCA users who have an MLNS number for an audio-recorded specimen of interest, can quickly find the data associated with the recording by going to column AL of the spreadsheet. Because the numbers there are sorted by value, by scrolling up or down the column the user can quickly locate any number.
With the MLNS numbers sorted by value, it was easy to find all instances that deviated from the usual one-for-one relation between WTL year-cut numbers and MLNS numbers. Among the 6460 records, there were 34 such instances. In the block of cells defined by AP1 and AQ19, these 34 deviations are sorted into 5 categories and assigned identifying colors. Four of these categories (yellow, orange, blue, and navy) have known causes. The causes of the remaining two cases (coded green) are unknown. Those wishing to learn the details of the 32 explained cases can find them, in MLNS order, in Versions of tblRecordedSongs
In Version 3b
the records have been sorted first by Year and then by CutNo (Columns B and C). This is useful because many audio-recorded specimens lack MLNS numbers but have yr-cut numbers (e.g. 1958-160) on their labels. On these labels, the year of the yr-cut number is often shortened to its last two digits (e.g. 1958-160 = 58-160).
Those searching this version or Version 3c may occasionally puzzle over a search result that reveals a MLNS number that has a colored background. Such backgrounds were explained in Version 3a. For user convenience, the explanation has been copied to Versions 3b and 3c, where it is found in the blocks of cells defined by cells AP1 and AQ19.
In Version 3c
the records have been sorted first by WTL Species No. (Column G) and then by WTL Individual No. (Column H). This version is most useful in finding all the archived cuts made of individuals of the same species. Compared to searches of the previous two versions, the results of searches of this version are less likely to produce satisfying results, especially in the case of species not known to occur in America north of Mexico (i.e., species that are not in the SINA checklists). This is because many of the species from islands and countries south of USA are poorly know taxonomically.
When more than one recording was made of an individual, the cuts were assigned letters in the “Take” column (Column I). Letters were assigned in alphabetical order but that order was often reversed when MLNS numbers were assigned. Many examples can be seen among the first 200 records in Version 3a
. This happened because many cuts were stored on “species reels” tail-out rather than leader-out. When MLNS personnel digitized the same cuts and assigned MLNS numbers, they naturally used reels on which the cuts had been rewound to make them leader-out.