Goings and comings!

Amoret Spooner (left)  and Zoë Simmons (right) dismantling the exhibition (photo: Keiko Ikeuchi, MHS)

Amoret Spooner (left) and Zoë Simmons (right) dismantling the exhibition

This week we’ve been at the Museum of the History of Science on Broad Street, taking down our temporary exhibition, ‘Natural Histories’. We had some lovely feedback from people who saw the display. They enjoyed seeing old friends from the Museum of Natural History’s displays such as the giant ammonite that people can touch, the jaw of Megalosaurus, the first dinosaur ever to be described by scientists, and the lovely old insect collecting tools used by entomologists.

Specimens stored in spirit need very careful handling

Specimens stored in spirit need very careful handling

The exhibition also had some things we are rarely able to put on display. The beautiful hand-painted butterflies in William Jones’ Icones, and White Watson’s inlaid stone slabs representing the strata of Derbyshire, are just two of the treasures we normally keep in a darkened room because too much light will damage them. We showed crabs collected by Charles Darwin on the voyage of The Beagle, and even a plant from the University’s herbaria that was collected by Linnaeus, the Swedish scientist who devised the system of ‘Latin’ names we still use for plants and animals today.

Every item is being carefully checked and packed up, but don’t worry, they are not staying in our stores for long. We will be taking them to Banbury Museum where ‘Natural Histories’ will be going on show again from 30th November 2013 until late February 2014. So, even if you missed the exhibition in Oxford, you’ll have a last chance to see it in Banbury.

Conservator Gemma Aboe packs away the pigmy anteater

Conservator Gemma Aboe packs away the pigmy anteater

All photos, Keiko Ikeuchi, MHS

Monica Price, Head of Earth Collections

6 thoughts on “Goings and comings!

  1. Thanks Scott,
    I work for Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and we are really interested in White Watson’s tablets – sadly we don’t have one of our own. We did try and get our hands on a 1811 copy of his ‘A Delineation of the Strata of Derbyshire’ book, but were outbid – http://enlightenmentderbyshire.wordpress.com/?s=white+watson

    On the above link there is an interesting document you can download which the Derbyshire Record Office has created. It might be worth a look. Last year we did buy a Derbyshire strata map produced by Elias Hall which is rather nice – http://enlightenmentderbyshire.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/elias-hall-a-vertical-stretch-of-the-strata-across-the-high-peak-hundred-of-derbyshire/


    • Hi Anna

      It’s a shame that the book got away isn’t it? Thanks for the links though; it’s good to read about his wider work, not least because I am from near Sheffield, so grew up in and around a lot of the places mentioned in that document.

      If you would ever like to come and see the tablets let me know and I’ll arrange something.


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