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Museums & Collections Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Archive for May, 2012

Specimen of the Week: Week Thirty-Three

Emma-LouiseNicholls28 May 2012

Scary Monkey: Week Thirty-ThreeThis fantastic, furry frugivore peers down at you from a seated position, in between an aye-aye and an orang-utan. Originally from southern and south-east Asia, they are found in a number of countries, though are sadly endangered throughout their semi-deciduous monsoon forest and tropical evergreen forest habitats due to deforestation. As this species rarely comes down to the floor (no, it’s not a sloth), a lack of trees is, well… a problem. This week’s specimen of the week is… (more…)

Specimen of the Week: Week Thirty-Two

Emma-LouiseNicholls21 May 2012

Scary MonkeyBurrowing around in a drawer last week, I discovered a fantastic looking skull with a curious labeling issue. Taxonomy of species changes all the time and some of our specimens go back at least to 1827. Ergo- not our fault. Is my point there. Anywho- it had the common name of one species, and the scientific name of another. I immediately embarked on a daring quest of skull comparative anatomy in a bid to uncover its true identity. So pleased am I by this fantastic specimen that I am immediately promoting it to SofW status (now with plaque), and telling you all about it so it will get lots of visitors and make lots of new friends. Accidentally carrying on the scavenging theme from last week’s Specimen of the Week, we are shifting from mammals to a different group within the animal kingdom. It’s big, it’s (very) bold, it’s (to some people) beautiful, this week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)

Grant Museum wins Museums and Heritage Award for Excellence

MarkCarnall17 May 2012

Last night a contingent from UCL including colleagues from Museums and Public Engagement, UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and Heritage Without Borders headed down to the illustrious premises of 8 Northumberland for the 10th Anniversary Museums and Heritage Awards. In total three UCL projects had been shortlisted; the move of the Grant Museum for Project on A Limited Budget, the Grant Museum’s QRator project for Innovations, and Heritage Without Borders for The International Award. Did we bring home the silver (glass)? Well from the title of this post you can gather we did but you’ll have to hit the jump to find out more.. (more…)

Specimen of the Week: Week Thirty-One

Emma-LouiseNicholls14 May 2012

Scary MonkeyWhen in Africa a couple of years ago, I looked high and low for these gorgeous animals. I mean EVERYwhere. When we finally caught up with a clan (clue), another tourist in our jeep attempted to ruin the moment by harping on about how disgusting they were. Sadly, for an unfathomable reason, this animal does appear to generally induce an upturned nose amongst the general public. Which is so UNFAIR!! This animal is amazing and I am going to set the record straight on why. This week’s specimen of the week is… (more…)

Call My Bluffalo: The B-Roll

MarkCarnall8 May 2012

Last week the Grant Museum hosted Call My Bluffalo, a panel event in the format of the popular game show Call My Bluff albeit with a zoological twist. The panel was made up of Dr Ian Barnes (Royal Holloway Univeristy), Dr Anjali Goswami (UCL), Professor Kate Jones (UCL, Institute of Zoology) and Dr Victoria Herridge (Natural History Museum). The star-studded panel do what they do best had to put in a lot of effort to contrive science lies and to try to dupe each other into believing made up etymologys of a range of zoological names. A task made difficult by the fact that sometimes the truth is far stranger than fiction. The event went very well judging from the audience reception (and of course the evaluation forms) but we ended up not using a round of questions we had planned. Rather than waste the effort putting them together we thought we’d put them up here for our readers to have a go themselves.

Specimen of the Week: Week Thirty

Emma-LouiseNicholls7 May 2012

Scary Monkey: Week ThirtyOn the basis of the wonderfully, hot, sunny, and bright bank holiday weekend we are having (I really hope you’re not the kind of audience that doesn’t appreciate extreme levels of sarcasm) I thought we should celebrate one of the most summery animals known to Britain. Never seen in winter (unless it is having a really bad day), this species is furry, beautiful, and is most often seen enjoying the flowers in the sunshine of summer. This week’s specimen of the week is… (more…)