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  • State of the Union! Natural History Museums 2014

    By Mark Carnall, on 29 August 2014

    Reposting of an article I wrote for the NatSCA website in my capacity on the #NatureData Coordinating Committee, summarising the ‘State of the Union’ for natural history museums following the SPNHC 2014 conference.

    At the end of June was a rather special event; the coming together of three subject specialist networks (SSN), the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC), the Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA) and the Geological Curators’ Group (GCG) hosted by Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales. Between them, these three networks represent a sizeable chunk of curators, conservators, directors and educators who work in and with natural history museums and collections. Each SSN has yearly meetings but a syzygy rarely happens.

    The full conference was a six day affair packed with field trips, stores tours, talks, workshops, demos, poster sessions and discussions attended by over 250 delegates from almost as many natural history institutions. This provided a great opportunity to catch up and meet friends, facilitated the catharsis in sharing frustrations unique to natural history museums and offered a rare chance to establish a sense of ‘the state of the union’ in natural history museums across Europe, North America and elsewhere.

    You can read the rest of this entry over at the NatSCA website at this link.

    Mark Carnall is the Curator of the Grant Museum of Zoology

    Reflections on ‘Plaster reproduction in the context of 3D printing’ Pop-Up Display and Lecture

    By Helen R Cobby, on 22 November 2013

    Mona Hess, Research Assistant for 3D imaging and project co-ordinator of the Petrie Museum’s 3D imaging project, curated a Pop-Up display this November on 3D printing and scanning at UCL Art Museum. 3D printing is a new and high profile phenomenon that started in 2007. The aim of the Petrie research has been to make use of the opportunities this technology creates in the museum space, such as engaging with a diverse and wide audience through the creation of 3D objects.

    This Pop-Up workshop wove together film clips of high resolution colour laser 3D scanning to demonstrate how different types of technology works, as well as addressing techniques first-hand with the use of a mini hand scanner with the use of a low cost hand scanner based on near-infrared detection originally used for motion tracking.  (more…)

    Digital Egypt: Museums of the Future.

    By Edmund Connolly, on 12 November 2012

    Guest blogger: Giancarlo Amati (Digital Developer at the Petrie Museum)

     

    On the 3rd of November 2012, The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology organized “Digital Egypt: Museums of the Future”, a showcase of 3D interactive applications result from Petrie Museum research into the use of 3D technology in the heritage sector. The 3D interactive applications are also part of a new upcoming exhibition, titled “3D Encounters: where Science meets Heritage”, specially designed to celebrate the opening of the new UCL-Q campus in Doha,Qatar.

    A Modern Makeover

    A Modern Makeover

     

      (more…)

    Students wanted for UCL Art Museum focus groups

    By Krisztina Lackoi, on 6 November 2012

    UCL Museums and Public Engagement have been awarded funding from JISC to make 150,000 digitised objects from UCL Museums publicly available and to develop a range of new e-learning resources. The project team are looking for students to participate in focus groups to discuss this and are offering a light meal and book tokens in return for participants’ time.

    Portrait of The Elector John Frederick I, The Magnanimous - a heavy-set man with a huge slash across his left cheek

    Portrait of The Elector John Frederick I, The Magnanimous, Monogrammist M.R., UCL Art Museum 1581

    (more…)

    Scribbles and skulls

    By Rachael Sparks, on 31 March 2011

    From a public perspective, objects are what a museum is all about. Yet behind every object is a story, built up from a range of sources and evidence, that enables us to contextualise that artefact and give it some form of meaning. This meaning may change as scholarship advances or audiences diversify. But without that level of research, we would have little more than a lot of nice ‘stuff’ on display.

    A crucial link in this chain of information comes from archival sources. The Institute of Archaeology is fortunate in having a range of original field records to support its collections, allowing us to learn more about the circumstances in which material was originally excavated. These also provide a window into the methods and practices of seminal figures in the development of archaeology as a discipline. The tomb cards written by Flinders Petrie and his staff are a classic example.
    (more…)