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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Ask a Curator – 2020 edition

By Lisa Randisi, on 4 December 2020

On the 16th September, we took part in #AskACurator day on Twitter – we lined up four of our curators and gave you a chance to put them on the spot and ask everything you’ve ever wanted to know.

Missed it? Fear not, we’ve compiled their best answers right here.

First up was Tannis Davidson, Curator of the Grant Museum. Tannis cares for one of the oldest natural history collections in the UK including our famous glass jar of moles and 8,000 mice skeletons.

Curator standing in the museum







What’s the oldest specimen in the museum?


(If you’re wondering, the last postcard the moles received was from the Wall Street Charging Bull.)


Next up, Curator of the Petrie Museum Dr Anna Garnett was taking questions. She looks after over 80,000 artefacts in the Petrie Museum, including the world’s oldest-known piece of clothing. Here’s what you wanted to know –

(erratum – the correct link is here)

Hannah Cornish then jumped in to talk to us about the UCL Pathology Museum, Jeremy Bentham’s Auto-icon. She also looks after our Science collections, including one of the world’s first medical x-ray images.

Curator's face

(In fact, not only do we have a stomach ucler in the collection… we have 53, according to the database.)


Finally, Subhadra Das – writer, broadcaster, comedian and museum curator at UCL Culture – came in to talk about museums and decolonisation, race and empire.

Curator's face


Subhadra highlighted some museum projects that are working to address the topics of decolonisation, race and empire:

That’s all for #AskACurator 2020 – until next year!

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