NatSCA Digital Digest – February 2022

Compiled by Glenn Roadley, NatSCA Committee Member, Curator of Natural Science at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.

Welcome to the February edition of NatSCA Digital Digest.

A monthly blog series featuring the latest on where to go, what to see and do in the natural history sector including jobs, exhibitions, conferences and training opportunities. We are really keen to hear more about what you are getting up to, exhibition launches, virtual conferences, training opportunities, webinars, and new and interesting online content. If you have any top tips and recommendations for our next Digest please drop an email to blog@natsca.org.

Sector News

SPNHC / BHL / NatSCA Conference 2022

Next summer will see the return of the physical NatSCA Conference – a partnership with the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Early Rate registration is now open until April 8th (after which the Late Rate fee will apply), with NatSCA members eligible for the Standard Member rate.

NatSCA Lunchtime Chats

Following a cracking first session by Laura McCoy (who fascinated and grossed out audiences in equal measure with her amazing tales of rotting a dolphin carcass), our new lunchtime chat series will continue at 12.30pm on February 24th. Taking place on the last Thursday of every month, this members-only series is supposed to be informal, no fancy equipment is needed, it will be put out over the NatSCA Zoom platform and there is no fixed format. There will be shaky walks through stores by mobile, demos, plain pieces to camera or traditional PowerPoints if that’s the best way to share images and info. For those who want to take part please email training@natsca.org to put forward your idea; if a stable internet connection for what you want to achieve is tricky we can put up a pre-recorded video and then speakers can jump in at the end for the discussion.

Bring your sandwiches and a cuppa and we hope to see you on the day! All members will have received a link to join via Zoom (the same link works for all sessions) – if you haven’t, get in touch with membership@natsca.org

People and Plants

NatSCA is pleased to be supporting a new one year project ‘People and Plants: reactivating ethnobotanical collections as material archives of Indigenous ecological knowledge’. This project is led by National Museums Scotland, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Powell-Cotton Museum and funded as an AHRC funded networking grant. It will investigate the interplay between natural history and ethnography collections, building on a re-emerging interest in indigenous ecology and the value of ethnobotanical collections as material archives of indigenous ecological knowledge. There will be opportunities for NatSCA members to apply for funded spaces at project workshops – please see our website for further details: http://www.natsca.org/people-and-plants.

Where to Visit

The prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is being hosted by Bristol M Shed until June 2022. This world-renowned exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London, is now in its 57th year, launching in 1965 and attracting 361 entries. Today the competition receives 49,000 entries from all over the world.

Each image has been selected by a panel of international experts and the winning images are selected for their creativity, originality and technical excellence.

Curious Creatures is open at Abbey House Museum in Leeds until the end of 2022. Curious Creatures explores the many ways in which the Victorians interacted with and sometimes exploited animals. Focussing on the period 1810-1914, the exhibition looks at ethical issues about our relationship with nature that are still relevant today.

What To Read

We’ve a great new blog for those looking into different ways to digitise their collections – Milo Phillips, Assistant Curator of Entomology, Leeds Museums explains the use of crowd-sourcing platform Zooniverse for the transcription of specimen data labels from images.

Over on the GCG blog, Rachel Brown, Project Archivist (Unlocking Lapworth’s Legacy), Lapworth Museum of Geology, writes ‘Unlocking Lapworth’s Legacy: Introducing the Charles Lapworth Archive. Rachel details the Archives Revealed funded project, which began at the Lapworth Museum of Geology, University of Birmingham, to catalogue the Charles Lapworth archive collection, which is believed to be the most complete record of any natural historian other than Charles Darwin and the most complete of any UK geologist.

Where to Work

The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow is seeking a Curator of Mineralogy and Petrology (full time, permanent, £36,382 – £40,927) while National Museums Scotland are after an Entomology Genetic Collection Curator (full time, fixed term 2 years, £31,534 – £39,795)

Before You Go…

If you have any top tips and recommendations for our next Digest please drop an email to blog@natsca.org.

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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