Before… Why the collection needed attention.

Boxes of mystery!

Previously the bird skin collection was stored in cardboard boxes (shown above) and these did not provide a suitable environment. The birds within the boxes were piled on top of each other and this could cause damage to feathers, beaks and wings, plus they were difficult to access. It would have been very time consuming when inspecting the collection to open each individual box and check every specimen so if there were any problems, such as a pest infestation or mould spreading from damp, the issue would possibly not be found until extensive damage had already occurred. As an interim measure each bird was sealed in plastic but this was not a long term solution. One of the Natural History Curators, Rebecca Machin, secured funding from the Arts Council to get new storage and hire someone for a year to move the birds into that storage, as well as document them all.  

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