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4 Posts tagged with the collections_management tag
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We have around 80 million items in the Museum collection.  This makes us one of the world's greatest natural history collections and there is a huge amount of expertise, organisation, investment and thinking goes into caring for this resource and making it available to scientists and to many other users, including the general public in the UK and worldwide.

 

A basic characteristic of any item in the collection is that we know what it is, where it comes from and when it was collected.  Without this information, its value for science is much reduced.  However, because collecting has been in progress since the 17th Century, most of the information that accompanies the specimens is written on paper: on labels or in books, record cards and registers.  A scientist wanting to know whether we have particular items or to find out more information would need to talk to NHM curators or visit us to look at the information resources first-hand.

 

But in the last ten years in particular, we have been developing electronic databases of the collections.  It's a major task with a lot of experimentation with the best techniques and tools - how do we transfer tens of millions of information points from paper to databases to enable online searches and research resources?  We've got basic information for around 400,000 specimens on our main database at the moment but we need to move faster, and we are trying out different approaches.

 


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a plot of 400,000 specimen records that have been databased, showing origins

 

A new initiative is to involve members of the public in copying information from the registers online - crowdsourcing.  We are doing this at the moment for our bird collections and would like as many people as possible to join us in this effort - we'll then be able to move more quickly to online information on which bird specimens we have, with information on their place of origin and dates.  Sometimes this information can be used to do research on where bird species once occured but where they have now disappeared because of habitat loss or other factors.

 

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a snapshot of one of the register pages

 

Have a look at the online ornithology registers on the Notes from Nature site and have a try - you can attempt one-off transcriptions, or register and create an account that allows you to track your contribution to this effort.

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Participation and Collections Management: Is good collection management and genuine public participation really possible?

 

 

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When?
Thursday 27th June, 2013, 2.30pm-4.00pm

 

Where?
Flett Lecture Theatre, NHM, South Kensington

 

Who?

Speakers: 
Tim Vickers, Collections Care Officer, Luton Culture

 

What’s it about?:
This talk will look at some of the speakers experience of allowing hands on use of core collections to engage with the public. Focused primarily on the Museums archaeological collections, it will cover some of the risks and benefits of this way of working from a curator’s view rather than just for those who participate.

 

Who should come?
If you are thinking about or are working on a collections management project where you would like to involve members of the public where the focus is being hands-on.

 

Science Group: All senior departmental managers & collection management staff.

Public Engagement Group:  Any staff who work with and use collections or manage staff who work with collections.

 

We also welcome colleagues from other institutions who would find the seminar of interest.

 

There is no booking fee and only large parties need to notify the organiser for catering purposes.

 


Tea and coffee will be available in the lobby area after the talk.

 

Suggestions for seminar speakers are always most welcome.
Please contact the organiser Clare Valentine (c.valentine@nhm.ac.uk)

 

For additional details on attending this or other seminars see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/seminars-events/index.html

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As part of the Annual NHM Integrated Pest Management Awareness

   

Thursday 26th April 2012

2.30pm - 4.00pm

Flett Lecture Theatre, NHM, South Kensington London, SW7 5BD

 

Armando Mendez, Suzanne Ryder and David A. Smith from the Natural History Museum


Regular trapping and periodical inspections alerted Natural History Museum’s IPM Group to a rise in the number of webbing clothes moths, Tineola bisselliella, in the Museum’s Mammal corridor in late 2010.  This awareness led to the combined use of pheromone lure traps and a new visual display of trapping data.  This was used with the collections management system KE-EMu  to closely follow the evolution of the infestation.

 

At the time, a rodent infestation was discovered in a Museum themed gallery, quite distant from the original moth infestation. However, in this rodent location, Tineola moths were also discovered in textile materials contaminated by rodents. The use of pheromone traps and digital cameras proved that both infestations were linked and that there was a strong possibility that the moths were thriving in the welcoming environment created by the rodents. The pests were using under-floor ventilation ducts to move around the Museum’s public galleries, posing a threat to the Mammal specimens on display in those galleries.

 

To deal with the problems, the Museum’s IPM group coordinated the efforts of several teams to apply remedies based on IPM principles and best practice.Housekeeping, Design & Installation and Estates maintenance teams are working together, coordinated by the IPM group, to control this infestation. A trial of a new pheromone distraction product is also underway.

 

  • The seminar is open to all museum professionals. We welcome colleagues from other institutions who would find the seminar of interest. There is no booking fee and only large parties need to notify the organiser for catering purposes.
  • NHM staff from Science Group and Public Engagement Group are encouraged to attend, whether managers, collections management staff or those who work with and use collections or manage staff who work with collections.

 

Tea and coffee will be available in the seminar room lobby area after the talk.

 

Suggestions for seminar speakers are always most welcome. Please contact the organiser Clare Valentine (c.valentine@nhm.ac.uk


NHM, Collection Management Seminar (see NHM Website for further details on how to attend http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/seminars-events/index.html).

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Collection Management Seminar As part of the Annual NHM Integrated Pest Management Awareness Day:

 

Tuesday 31st May 2011, 2.30pm-4.00pm Flett Lecture Theatre

 

by Armando Mendez, IPM Coordinator and Clare Valentine, Head of Collections for Zoology (and IPM Group Rep.), Natural History Museum, London.


Pests are widely recognised as one of the major risks to museum collections, yet many of the chemical methods which have been successfully used in the past to control them are now known to be hazards in their own right and can no longer be used. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) looks instead at the whole organisation of a museum, its staff, geography, building fabric, and how appropriate training and planning can reduce the pest risk.  Staff at the NHM have made IPM an integral part of their working lives through our policies and procedures. This seminar will review the latest initiatives the IPM Group has implemented and the plans for our new Quarantine facility which is being built this year will be highlighted.


Colleagues from other institutions welcome. For more information and contact details see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/seminars-events/index.html

 

Tea and coffee will be available in the Flett lobby after the talk.

 

 


http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/seminars-events/index.html