Natural history collections house over a billion insect specimens worldwide collected over several centuries. Specimen labels encode data denoting species, location, and date captured and are used to study biogeographic patterns, spread of invasive species, and responses to land use, climate, and other environmental changes. However, access to data is impractical for most of the research community. Because of enormous collection sizes, entomology has lagged behind other disciplines in digitizing collections. In 2010 the Essig Museum began CalBug, a collaborative project among nine California museums* with a goal to digitize and geographically reference over one million specimens from target groups and localities.