NatSCA Digital Digest

Welcome to the weekly digest of posts from around the web with relevance to natural science collections. We hope you find this useful and if you have any articles that you feel would be of interest, please contact us at blog@natsca.org

1. Blog: Natural History Blog

Russell Dornan

Synopsis

A great blog worth checking out:

‘My name is Russell Dornan and I was the biology curatorial trainee at Hereford and Ludlow Museums. I blogged throughout my 12 month journey through their natural history collections and went on to be the Natural History Project Co-ordinator at the Horniman Museum in London.

I am now the Web Editor at Wellcome Collection.

All views expressed in this blog are mine alone and do not represent the opinions of my employer.’

Russell Dornan's #MuseumSelfie

Russell Dornan’s #MuseumSelfie (Image by Russell Dornan)

Wunderkammer

2. Volunteer Position: Mudchute Volunteer Coordinator

Mudchute, East London Countryside

Synopsis

We have a fantastic opportunity for an experienced Volunteer Coordinator to join our team at Mudchute Park and Farm to manage the recruitment, supervision and support of our volunteering programme.

We are looking for an organised, dynamic and enthusiastic individual who has the experience of working in a multi-cultural environment Inner City Environment with groups and individuals from a diverse background. Experience of working with and the ability to enthuse and motivate disadvantaged individuals is essential.

If you think this could be you, we’d love to hear from you! For more details about this part time position, including how and when to apply, please download the application pack by following the website below.

Please note that applications must be received by noon on Friday, August 29th.

Mudchute Volunteer Position

3. Training: Accreditation Plus Training- Making your objects accessible

University of the Arts, London

Synopsis

Wednesday 10 September 2014, 1.30-4pm

Central St Martins

http://www.arts.ac.uk/csm/about-csm/find-us/

‘Research has proven that touching and handling objects is an important part of the learning experience. However for many museums, allowing visitors to handle objects is an area in which they lack confidence or ‘trained’ staff. This training will address the issue of how we balance the care and conservation of objects against issues of access. Experienced practitioners from Central St Martins will provide guidance on best practice in object handling and discuss how robust systems can make it possible to manage access to collections through handling whilst still protecting them for future generations.

In the session you will:

  • Look at a range of things to consider in order to handling by your visitors.
  • Explore why we use object handling in our museums
  • Learn best practise for handling objects

It is aimed at staff and volunteers who will be developing and delivering handling sessions within their museums.’

To book, fill in an online application form on the Regional Programmes website:

Training Programmes

Training course booking form

Compiled by Emma-Louise Nicholls, NatSCA Blog Editor

NatSCA Digital Digest

Welcome to the weekly digest of posts from around the web with relevance to natural science collections. We hope you find this useful and if you have any articles that you feel would be of interest, please contact us at blog@natsca.org

1. Blog: The Importance of Natural Sciences

Jack Ashby, Manager of the Grant Museum

Synopsis

Comparing attitudes across the Atlantic

The importance of natural sciences

2. Training: Interpretation Planning

Friday 18th July, Museum of London

Synopsis

‘Nick Poole from Collections Trust will be delivering an add on session from 1-1.30pm on digitisation and the potential of using your collections on line through various platforms’.

Interpretation Planning

3. Museum and Heritage Awards

Advisor- the team behind the M and H show and awards

Synopsis

A review of this year’s award winning projects

Museum and Heritage Awards

Compiled by Emma-Louise Nicholls, NatSCA Blog Editor

NatSCA Digital Digest

Welcome to the weekly digest of posts from around the web with relevance to natural science collections. We hope you find this useful and if you have any articles that you feel would be of interest, please contact us at blog@natsca.org

1. Blog: Six Questions for a Geological Curator

Geological Curators’ Group

Synopsis

‘This is the first post in our series where we ask geological curators around the country a series of questions that allow them to advocate the collections in their charge. This post is kindly provided by Dean Lomax who is Contract Assistant Curator of Palaeontology at the Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery, working on the CIRCA Project which is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. He is the author of two books, Fossils of the Whitby Coast and Dinosaurs of the British Isles.’

Six Questions for a Geological Curator

2. Article: EU Makes it Easier to Return Looted Cultural Objects

Patrick Steel, Museums Association

Synopsis

‘The European Parliament has approved changes to a directive aimed at helping EU countries organise the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from one member state to another. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) believes will see a rise in requests for returns across the EU as a result’

EU Makes it Easier to Return Looted Cultural Objects

3. Job Vacancy: Curatorial Assistant

The Grant Museum of Zoology, Department of Public and Cultural Engagement

Synopsis

‘Full time until July 2015, thereafter it will be part time, 18.25 hours per week, 50% FTE, unless further funding is identified.

The curatorial assistant post will be based primarily in the Grant Museum of Zoology, one of the foremost zoology museums in the UK, with a growing reputation for innovative and experimental work.

The job will involve working closely with the collections to make them accessible to UCL and external audiences and improve their storage, documentation and use; as well as contributing to the museum’s public programmes and online activities. Details can be found on the UCL jobs page.

Deadline: 15th June. For information about the post please contact the Museum Manager, Jack Ashby – j.ashby@ucl.ac.uk  and for information about the application procedure contact UCL Museums’ Administrator Lauren Sadler – l.sadler@ucl.ac.uk.’

Curatorial Assistant Job Vacancy

Compiled by Emma-Louise Nicholls, NatSCA Blog Editor

NatSCA Digital Digest

Welcome to the weekly digest of posts from around the web with relevance to natural science collections. We hope you find this useful and if you have any articles that you feel would be of interest, please contact us at blog@natsca.org

1. Blog: Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

Lil Stevens, Natural History Museum, London

Synopsis

The Lyme Regis Fossil Festival took place in Dorset on 2-4 May 2014. Our palaeontologists Lil Stevens and Zoe Hughes report back from a weekend of sun, sea, fossils and fun.

On the right hand side of this page, you will find links to two other blogs, Lyme Regis Fossil Festival Day 1 and Day 2, which outline the activities of the weekend.

Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

2. Conference: Woodward 150 Symposium: Fossil Fishes and Fakes

Natural History Museum, 21st May 2014

Synopsis

‘Arthur Smith Woodward contributed widely to our knowledge of fossil fish, extinct animals and regional geology. This symposium considers his influence on palaeontology and the legacy of his work at the Museum.’

Woodward 150 Symposium

3. Exhibition: Nature, not just ‘red in tooth and claw’

Manchester Museum, Now until September

Synopsis

‘We have an exhibition, ‘From the War of Nature’ that revisits the idea of a ‘struggle for existence’, a very widely misunderstood and misapplied phrase. The exhibition links to the WW1 centenary, and explores whether nature is cruel, nice or anything else. The answer is that it’s not one thing- it’s lots of things. Sometimes animals co-operate, collaborate or divide resources up between them. The old idea of nature red in tooth and claw is a very misleading one- and does a real disservice to the complexity of nature. The exhibition runs until September. It was very rewarding to work on.’

Nature, not just ‘red in tooth and claw’

Compiled by Emma-Louise Nicholls, NatSCA Blog Editor

NatSCA Digital Digest

Welcome to the weekly digest of posts from around the web with relevance to natural science collections. We hope you find this useful and if you have any articles that you feel would be of interest, please contact us at blog@natsca.org

1. Blog: Collecting Organisms to Save their Species

Dr.Prosanta Chakrabarty, Louisiana State University

Synopsis

An advocate of specimen collecting in the 21st Century, Chakrabarty tackles the idea that we must no longer actively collect from the natural world if species are endangered.

Collecting Organisms to Save their Species

2. Blog: Museum of Natural History, Oxford

Rachel Parle, Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Synopsis

Parle talks about the way OUMN used social media to keep the public interested as the Museum lay closed for 14 months.

Museum of Natural History, Oxford

3. Blog: When Two Tribes Go To War: Art & Science ‘Curatorship’

Mark Carnall, Grant Museum of Zoology

Synopsis

‘The University of Cambridge museums and collections are currently running a project Curating Cambridge: our city, our stories, our stuff. Part of that project is looking at the art & science of curation asking curators what they think is meant by curation. My colleague Nick Booth has previously written about the problems with the word curator now becoming almost meaningless through overuse. I was inspired to write about the differences between “Art and Science” curation for the Art & Science of Curation website.’ ~ Mark Carnall

When two Tribes Go To War: Art & Science ‘Curatorship’

Compiled by Emma-Louise Nicholls, NatSCA Blog Editor

Is it ever acceptable for museums to lie?

Reblogged from the UCL Museums and Collections Blog

Is it ever acceptable for museums to lie?

By Jack Ashby, Grant Museum of Zoology

I ask this question to our Museum Studies Masters students every year, and last month put it to our new Bachelor of Arts and Sciences students. Despite the difference in the age, background and interests of these two groups, the reaction is the same – anger and horror. I am playing devil’s advocate in these debates, but my own opinion is yes, there are circumstances when everyone benefits from museums lying.

The lectures I discuss this in focus on object interpretation, and I use a tiger skull as a prop for discussing how to decide what information to include in labels. The choice of a tiger isn’t important – I just need something to use as an example I can attached real facts about natural history and conservation to, but I spend the two hours talking about tigers.

Lion (left) and tiger (right) skulls. Or is it the other way round? LDUCZ-Z1644 and LDUCZ-Z396

Lion (left) and tiger (right) skulls. Or is it the other way round? LDUCZ-Z1644 and LDUCZ-Z396

At the end of the lecture I reveal that the skull is in fact from a lion. Everything else I told them about tigers is true. Did it matter that I lied?

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NatSCA Digital Digest

Welcome to the weekly digest of posts from around the web with relevance to natural science collections. We hope you find this useful and if you have any articles that you feel would be of interest, please contact us at blog@natsca.org

1. Blog: ARKive’s Top Ten Eggs

Kathryn Pintus, ARKive

Kathryn Pintus
Kathryn Pintus

Synopsis

For those of us with a public programme to fill each holiday season, ideas and inspiration from other sources can never be too much or too numerous. I for one know first hand what it is like to keep trying to deliver a programme that is constantly fresh and original. As we egg-sit (sorry) another Easter of promoting eggs, egg-laying, anything eggy or egg-like that we have in our collections, I thought you may appreciate a pick me up. Here is a refreshing and quirky blog from ARKive that should do the trick.

ARKive’s Top Ten Eggs

Peacock butterfly eggs. © John Bebbington FRPS

Peacock butterfly eggs. © John Bebbington FRPS

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