Yesterday (Thursday 11 August) our lepidoptera and insect collections underwent a process of collections care.
Dr Bruce Campbell, of the Museums Studies Department of the University of Leicester (and with thirty years curatorial experience at Newport Museum and Art Gallery) re-pinned and repaired some of our fascinating collection which includes rare butterflies, moths and beetles.
The project was funded by Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund and the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales, which has also funded for the museum the acquisition of new boxes for the geology collection and other conservation equipment. These materials are obviously of paramount importance to museums but can be expensive for smaller institutions and so funding grants such as these are worth their weight in gold (or in this case entomological specimens).
The grant came about following the Linking Collections Natural Sciences Review which detailed the collections and highlighted areas that needed addressing. As Christian Baars, one of the driving forces behind the project, tweeted, this project, from review to re-pinning, highlights the importance and benefit of partnership working.
The natural history collections are unfortunately currently not on display but they can be viewed by researchers. All they need to do is make a 24 hour appointment (week days only). We are also looking at providing a new natural history display in early 2017 but as always funding to make the display as professional, informative and as enjoyable as possible is proving a stumbling block. If anybody would like to make a contribution towards the exhibition costs (or knows of serious funding streams to be tapped into for natural science projects) please do let us know!!!