Assessing the geology collections at Hitchin Museum Resource Centre

Nigel was asked to assess the geology collection at Hitchin Museum Resource Centre to produce a Collection Level Description (as no-one was sure what the collection contained) and to advise on conservation and curatorial issues. A one day visit produced a 12-page report that described the collection (approximately 3,500 fossils and 1,700 rocks, minerals and crystals) in detail and provided a list of tasks that would make the collection more useable. As a result, the Resource Centre staff now know what the collection contains, where the material is, and what sort of displays and activities the specimens could be used for in the future.

This report led to funding being sought and obtained and Nigel returned to spend a week rationalising and reorganising the collection - inclluding some reboxing. This resulted in the collection being stored more efficiently and in a more organised manner (saving space in the cramped collections area), and a detailed database of specimen locations was created. Also, the education department's geology colleciton was sorted and listed, making it much more useful.

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We are members of the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and committee members of the Natural Sciences Conservation Group.

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