NatSCA Digital Digest – June

Compiled by Jan Freedman, Curator of Natural History, The Box, Plymouth.

Welcome to the June edition of NatSCA Digital Digest!

With the government easing lockdown, some of us return to work, but museums and art galleries still remain closed. There are still lots of great online resources and activities to enjoy.

Where can I ‘visit’?

The Natural History Museum, London has several virtual tours around their galleries. Whether you would like to flick through the Wildlife Photographer of the Year images, or listen to the soothing voice of Sir David Attenborough, there’s plenty to see, and inspire some ideas for your own museum.

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History has a wonderful virtual tour of their galleries. The North Carolina Museum of Natural History has several online events and activities, including talks with curators about their collections. Similarly, the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre has several online videos of curators talking about the collections.

What can I do?

SPNHC and ICOM NATHIST are holding a virtual digital meeting from June 8th – June 12th. The event includes presentations, symposiums and educational sharing to promote communication and professional development. More details can be found here.

The Society for the History of Natural History (SHNH) is having their AGM as a virtual meeting on 26th June 2020 2pm. Full details are here, and do join in if you would like to find out more about what the Society does.

There has been a number of excellent and fun nature quizzes on Twitter. Have a look and see at this selection and see if you can work out what it is, and with the answers come some very cool facts:

#GuessTheSkull by Palaeontologist Yara Haridy (@Yara_Haridy).

#CrowOrNo by zoologist Dr Kaeli Swift (@CorvidResearch)

#FindThatLizard by Earyn McGee (@Afro_Herper) (I’ve only found it twice!!)

#CloseUpQuiz by Jack Ashby (@JackDAshby)

#CougarOrNot by Dr Michelle LaRue (@drmichellelarue)

#NameThatTrack by Lisa Vipes (@Lisavipes)

#TrickyBirdID by Jason Ward (@JasonWardNY)

Friday Mystery Object by Paolo Viscardi (@PaoloViscardi)

What can I read?

An important and relevant article by Miranda Lowe and Subhadra Das about colonialism and racism in natural history collections is freely available on the NatSCA website. A really good article about #BlackBirdersWeek highlights why diversity in naturalists inspires the younger generation and shows that anyone can be interested in nature.

There’s a nice write up about the conservation of a wallaby skeleton at National Museum Wales, fiddly, but satisfying work. With fieldwork cancelled, there are two posts about virtual field work, Travelling to Socotra with the British and Liverpool Museums Expedition (1898/99) Part 1 and Part 2. There’s a nice blog on the Geological Curator bog about curators working from home, which is relevant to many of us at the moment.

Before You Go…

If you have any top tips and recommendations for our next Digest please drop an email to

Similarly, if you have something to say about a current topic, or perhaps you want to tell us what you’ve been working on, we welcome new blog articles so please drop Jen an email if you have anything you would like to submit.

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