One of the projects I’ve started at Hereford involves the collection of bird mounts and skins. Some of them are in a pretty bad way but without the proper training there’s not much I can do to restore them, short of performing some condition reports.
What I am going to do is find those that have lost their bases/mounts (if they had any to begin with) and use plastazote foam to allow them to stand proud once again. This will save them from lying on their sides and getting damaged. It’s only a temporary solution.
Before I began I had another good look through the collection. It is considerably smaller than the bird collection in Ludlow but the quality is good. As I ‘browsed’ the specimens I took some shots which I will publish in a later post. for this one I am concentrating on the ‘re-mounting’ (for want of a better phrase).
Another element of this project is my desire to find out more about the collection as a whole. After working long and hard on the Chapman material, I think that the context, social history and sum of the specimens can provide a much richer experience for anyone looking at any material. This might be researchers, curators or the public. Knowing wider-reaching data associated with the specimens provides greater insight into each object: why it’s there; how it relates to the museum, the time period and the other objects; and how all the objects, and their individual stories, contribute to a strong collection. Since Hereford has a relatively small collection, this job is made much easier. I will explore this further in later posts.