Top NatSCA Blogs of 2022

Compiled by Jen Gallichan, NatSCA Blog Editor.

A very Happy New Year to all of our readers and contributors! Being the blog editor is a great job as I get to read all of your fantastic posts first and hear about all of the great work going on out there with natural history collections. To reflect on this, here is a round up of the most read blogs that came out in 2022 in case you missed any of them. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed an article, the blog continues to go from strength to strength and this is purely as a result of your work and writing. The 2023 calendar is half full already – so if you are considering submitting something for later in the year, do drop me a line and get it scheduled in.

10. A Foot In The Door – Finding Collections Work As A Trailing Spouse In A Foreign Country. Written by Caroline Grounds, Freelance Zoological Collections Assistant, Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg. A lovely blog about finding your niche in a new country, and showing that collections work has no borders.

My happy place: sorting bees from by-catch from pan traps which we set up throughout the country. © Dylan Thissen

9. Thomas Bateman’s Ichthyosaurs. Written by Alistair McLean, Curator of Natural Science, Sheffield Museums Trust. Documenting the conservation work (part funded by the Bill Pettit award) that helped restore two beautiful Ichthyosaur specimens.

8. The ‘Social History of Natural History: People and Plants’ Workshop One. Written by Alexandra Slucky (Assistant Heritage Consultant & Environmental Archaeologist, Atkins, York Office) and Fiona Roberts (Collaborative ESRC PhD student, Cardiff University & Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales). If you have not been able to attend these workshops, here is a brilliant review of the first one, held at the Powell-Cotton Museum in March. Click here to find out more about the project, you can also read a review of the second workshop held in November.

Image of group engaging with objects and organic discussion throughout afternoon of workshop. Image by Alexandra Slucky

7. Many Hands Make Light Work. Written by Milo Phillips, Assistant Curator of Entomology at Leeds Museums and Galleries. Highlighting a really interesting project using free online platforms and volunteers to unlock the scientific data contained in the collections.

6. A Sunfish, a Sheriff and a Register. Written by Eimear Ashe, Documentation Officer, National Museum of Ireland – Natural History. Inventory projects and digitising accession registers might not seem like the sexiest of subjects, but Eimear outlines beautifully how this kind of work can greatly improve collection records and accessibility.

5. The First Steps Of An Epic Move. Written by Clare Valentine, Head of Life Science collections, Natural History Museum, London. We have all avidly been watching the progress of the move of the NHM collections, and I for one was curious how one would go about moving the sheer number of specimens. Written before the change of venue to Reading, this details how NHM staff have been preparing for the move. Keep your eye out for more updates in 2023.

The process of auditing, measuring and checking the vast numbers of collections moving to the new research facility has begun – the move is expected to take until at least 2027. CREDIT Trustees of the Natural History Museum

4. Unravelling the Golden Thread: The Silk and Cocoon Collection at the Manchester Museum. Written by Piotr Korpak, Visitor Team Assistant, Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester. This lovely article highlights an interesting and strangely beautiful collection and is a brilliant example of how being closed for redevelopment can sometimes give us time to focus on collections work.

Fig. 3. Tasar silk cocoons (top left), raw silk (bottom), and woven fabric (top right) from India (Antheraea sp.). © Piotr Korpak

3. The SS Great Britain’s ‘Final Passenger. Written by Nick Booth, (then) Head of Collections, SS Great Britain Trust. Another example of how the Bill Pettit Award is continuing to help provide funds for collections and conservation projects across museums.

Image 1. The Cormorant Specimen during initial inspection. © Drakon Heritage and Conservation.

2. ‘Marvellous Molluscs’ – Increasing Accessibility, Improving Storage & Unlocking Research Potential At The University Of Aberdeen. Written by Hannah Clarke, Assistant Curator (Collections Access), University of Aberdeen. Mollusc collections rarely get a mention so I am super excited that this blog has been so well read and to hear about some great work improving the accessibility of this collection.

Assistant Curator, Hannah Clarke, identifying storage issues in specimen cupboards.

1. Freezing Specimens And How To Mitigate Freezer Burn. Written by Jazmine Miles Long, Taxidermist. Sometimes it is the most practical things that we need most, and this article is a great example of simple, straightforward advice on a subject that affects many of us in collections care. To me it sums up one of the core reasons why being part of the NatSCA community is so important for training and advice and a hearty thanks and well done to Jazmine for making the top spot!

Jazmine in the studio. Image by Jazmine Miles Long.

If you would like to know more about joining NatSCA and being part of our community, you can find out more about us on our webpages. We are also going to be having our first in person conference since Covid in April this year, find out more here.

One thought on “Top NatSCA Blogs of 2022

  1. Pingback: NatSCA Digital Digest – February 2023 | NatSCA

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