This week, now that my proposal for the two cabinets in the new Shrewsbury museum has been approved, I can start looking at the collection in detail to find the variety of objects to fill them with.
The main approach that I came up with is called “Aspects of Victorian Collecting“. I am focussing on several areas: Methodology; Display; Museums; Curiosities; Collectors; and Social Relevance/Cultural Impact. I will choose specimens that illustrate those areas in a typically Victorian way, whilst including others that highlight how differently those areas are explored today. A secondary approach, called “Conservation“, looks at the negative impact collecting in the Victorian era had on the natural world, but also why these collections (sometimes dubiously obtained) are irreplaceable and what they can teach us about the world then and now. I shall again be comparing the Victorian methods with those of today.
I’m currently in Ludlow looking through the collection and on Thursday I shall visit Shrewsbury and find some lovely objects there, as well as see the new space and the cabinets themselves.
Last week I took a few photos of some interesting specimens while I was deciding on which approach to take. Excuse the low quality but I thought it’d be nice to show some of the pictures I’m taking as I look through the objects: