Howie Minerals…

Originally posted on Adam, the (Trainee) Natural Science Curator:

Yesterday with David, the Museums Curator of Earth Science collections, I had my first experience in working with some of the Mineralogy collection down in the stores.

It involved working with the Howie Mineral collection. This is a collection that was acquired by the Museum after the passing of Prof. R. A. Howie.

20140722_143726The task was simple enough, but seemed quite time consuming, and it was something that David had been working on for a while. Minerals needed to be moved into their own storage boxes within a larger box, as opposed to being left loose, how they came into the museum (below).

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We used acid free tissue paper and boxes to store the mineral specimens in to make them more secure and stop them sliding around too much.

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These were then stored, and an accession number from a sequence was placed in each box. The letter ‘N’ that can be seen relates to the…

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Building our new Gorgosaurus!

We’ve got a brand new dinosaur called Gorgosaurus on loan!

Here’s how we got on building it:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis fabulous new cast was found in 1997 in Montana, USA. Find out more about it’s discovery.

It has hot footed it’s way from London after being on display at the Summer Science Exhibition at the Royal Society.

Thanks to Kate Sherburn for the images.

Reynard’s Kitchen Cave hoard – Late Iron Age and Roman coins

Find out more on Buxton Museum’s Blog: Reynard’s Kitchen Cave hoard – Late Iron Age and Roman coins.

The hoard consists of 26 coins, mostly Late Iron Age but including three Roman coins which pre-date the invasion of Britain in AD 43. It is believed to be the first time coins of these two origins are thought to have been found buried together in a cave in Britain. It is also unusual to find Late Iron Age gold coins. A Roman brooch was found alongside.

More about our Iceland collecting trip

SPNHC 2014 conference, Cardiff

For the last few days I’ve been at the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections conference in Cardiff. A joint conference with NatSCA and GCG.

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It has been great to hear about how different museums (particularly some of the American museums) use their collections and tackle mass documentation in new and exciting ways.

One of the first talks I went to was about the Smithsonian’s Q?rius collections centre. They moved and boxed around 6000 specimens for public engagement and used a traffic light system to guide handling and access.

The other talks I was excited about were the mass digitisation projects. Paris Natural History Museum have done some amazing work digitising millions of their herbarium sheets. They used a conveyor belts system and got much of their data from crowd sourcing the data from images of their specimens they had put on line!

I was most excited by the talk from staff at the Field Museum in Chicago. They have been doing mass digitisation of their Silurian fossil collection using student interns and images on KeEMU. Lots of exciting parallel with Manchester, so mass digitisation here I come!

My only slight gripe from the conference was that many of the talks about collections use focussed on scientific research. Museums are about so much more than that.

It was great to meet lots of natural science people and catch up with what ‘s going on around the world. Congratulations to Paolo who is the new NatSCA chair.

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Myslef, Donna Young and Jack Ashby

Costa Rica fieldcourse 2014 – Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

David Gelsthorpe:

Dmitri, our Curator of Arthropods has been to an incredible museums whilst on fieldwork in Costa Rica

Originally posted on Entomology Manchester:

On the second day of our staying in San Jose (11th June), we had a chance to visit the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) – the archaeological museum organized by the Central Bank of Costa Rica in 1950. This Museum hosts temporary exhibitions on a variety of themes and also houses a remarkable permanent gallery of pre-Columbian gold objects crafted between 300 A.D. and the 16th century, the time of the first contact with Europeans.

Objects manufactured during this period present a mixture of styles generated by contact and exchange with neighbouring regions such as modern central Panama and modern Colombia. Objects exhibited in the Museum were used as trade goods between regions and as ritual ornaments and funerary offerings. Many figures depict men with animal masks, apparently pointing to some superhuman qualities of those leaders who wore them. There are many animal figurines, including those of…

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University museums are great!

 

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