Advising Colchester and Ipswich Museums in regards to packing, moving and re-storing their natural history collections (approx. 500,000 specimens)

Colchester and Ipswich Museums service’s surprisingly large and diverse natural history collection was recently threatened with being decanted to a different site at some point in the near future, though the site had not yet actually been determined. Nevertheless, the museum service required an idea of what the project would involve – particularly as the collection was currently stored on the top floor of a five story building with no lift. Although the very limited budget could only pay for two day’s work, Nigel Larkin visited the site to assess the needs of both the collection and staff, and produced a detailed 34-page report (over 15,000 words long). This outlined the methods and materials required to safely move approximately half a million specimens out of their current stores and transport them to a new site. This report included extensive health and safety advice and quantified the time that would be needed to undertake the work as well as the total amounts of the various materials. It also gave advice about the environmental conditions that would need to be provided by the new store, considering the wide range of natural history material it would have to accommodate.

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