Fluid Preservation Course 2011; Horniman Museum, London

It has been a long time coming and I should have posted this a bit sooner. One of the reasons I’ve been so busy is because I have been putting skills I learned on this course to good use (which will be the subject of another post).

I was lucky enough to get a place on the above course in December and thanks to NatSCA (who awarded me a bursary) I was able to go. It was at the Horniman Museum in South London, led by Simon Moore and by the end we were told that we would “understand more about the important differences of fixation and preservation, a range of suitable fixatives and preservatives besides just formalin and IMS…learn how to repair damaged specimens in IMS, how to mount and prepare display specimens, seal those tricky battery (glass) jars, maintain the same and many other basic but necessary techniques such as glass cutting, grinding and drilling”.

Each day started with a 1-2 hour lecture (and tea and biscuits of course) before heading to the lab for the rest of the day and putting the theory into practice.  The first day covered a brief history and introduction to fluid preserved material as well as rehydration techniques. The day after that we looked at narcotisation, historical sealants, contaminants, celloidin repair and pelagic mounting.  On the third day we were taught about preservatives, lipids and copper wire staining.  The final session covered transparencies, containers, labels, tubes in jars as well as storage areas.  I’m deliberately not going into too much detail because people who are interested in specifics should go on Simon’s course! I will show what I got up to, however. Hover the cursor over the images for more information.

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