As part of Shrewsbury Museum’s move from Rowley’s House into the new building (for which I am developing a permanent exhibition) most of the natural history collection not being displayed has been transferred to Ludlow Museum Resource Centre. The latest addition is the herbarium collection which we have to amalgamate with our own.
The first step was to unpack the Shrewsbury cabinets and freeze them and their contents. This is done to ensure no pests have hitch-hiked en route to plague our precious collections. All objects put into the freezer (typically for a week) have to be wrapped properly in plastic so that as little moisture as possible gets in. Otherwise, when the objects are ‘defrosted’, any moisture will condense and potentially ruin the items.
I helped unwrap and move the first batch of cabinets (and herbarium sheets) from the freezer to the store, before wrapping up the next lot.
Once it had all defrosted, Daniel and I set about building the cabinets back up in the store and arranging them. Then I transferred our material to empty the old, lovely but inappropriate cabinets. The next task is to decide how to amalgamate the two collections. We can either use the system we already do (although it isn’t very up to date), fitting in the new material accordingly, or vice versa. We’ll probably use a different, more current taxonomy. As long as we’re consistent and rational then it should be fine. I shall let you know what we decide. In the meantime, here are some pictures from the herbarium collection move.