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Iain Watson Senior Curator, Tyne and Wear Museums.

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Presentation on theme: "Iain Watson Senior Curator, Tyne and Wear Museums."— Presentation transcript:

1 Iain Watson Senior Curator, Tyne and Wear Museums

2 NOF Digitise Technical Advisory service an integral part of a group of items that forms the record of an individual or organisation, and the description of such aggregates forms a fundamental (and standardised) element of descriptive practice (Archives) an integral part of a group of items that forms the record of an individual or organisation, and the description of such aggregates forms a fundamental (and standardised) element of descriptive practice (Archives) a range of criteria (form or type of object, subject, the objects donated by an individual benefactor) to delimit the aggregates they describe and manage. (Museums)

3 NOF Digitise Technical Advisory service... the "collection management systems" used within museums have tended to focus on the description of individual items or objects.

4 What curators call a collection George Jones Collection George Jones Collection

5 Subject collections – Designation Vertebrate Zoology Mammals Birds Other Vertebrate Material 2.2 Invertebrate Zoology Molluscs Arthropods (excluding insects) Insects Other groups of invertebrates 2.3 Botany (c. 120,000 specimens) 2.4 Geology Palaeontology Mineralogy Petrology (rocks) 2.5 Library and archives

6 Subject collections – Designation Insects The prime collections are those of Herbert Stevens from Assam and Sikkim (c.20,000 specimens), Colonel Charles H.E. Adamson's collection from Burma (4,000 butterflies, including some type material) and the bird-wing butterfly collection donated by James J. Joicey. Sunderland Museum houses the Backhouse collection of exotic butterflies including specimens collected by Alfred Russell Wallace in South-East Asia.

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8 Why natural science collections? Quite often heavy in types Quite often heavy in types Catalogued in own MODES file Catalogued in own MODES file Leading figures in scientific work on a specific group of animals/plants Leading figures in scientific work on a specific group of animals/plants A lot of (academic/research) enquiries come in about collections A lot of (academic/research) enquiries come in about collections

9 Thomas Atthey Pre-eminent collection : Thomas Atthey Coal Measure Fossils Thomas Atthey ( ) was pre-eminent amongst the Newcastle amateur fossil vertebrate palaeontologists and collected a large number of fossil amphibians from the coal tips at Newsham Colliery near Blyth. A considerable number of papers, co-authored by Albany Hancock, were written, the earliest dating back to Amongst this materials are numerous types including the celebrated lectotype of Pholiderpeton attheyi. Atthey's collection was purchased by Lady Armstrong and donated to the Natural History Society (now the Hancock Museum) in 1878.

10 Science and Industry 1 The Scope of the Science and Industry Collection: In summary the collection represents the following: Certain areas of British scientific and technological development in C19 and C20Certain areas of British scientific and technological development in C19 and C20 Important aspects of science and technology pioneered in Tyne and Wear, and in adjoining areasImportant aspects of science and technology pioneered in Tyne and Wear, and in adjoining areas Industry and transport in Tyne and Wear, and in adjoining areasIndustry and transport in Tyne and Wear, and in adjoining areas

11 Science and Industry 2 Principal subject areas are: CoalminingCoalmining Manufacture of iron, steel...Manufacture of iron, steel... Manufacturing industriesManufacturing industries Land TransportLand Transport Electric lightingElectric lighting Personal items associated with Tyneside engineers, scientists, etcPersonal items associated with Tyneside engineers, scientists, etc

12 Science and Industry 3 Bringing disparate material together virtually/physically Armstrong CollectionArmstrong Collection RMSRMS ExhibitionsExhibitions

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14 Description Units Collection Collection Item Item Drawer/Box/Teaset/Photograph album Drawer/Box/Teaset/Photograph album

15 IMAGINE Project (NOF Digi) Images Museums And Galleries In the North East Natural World Natural World Archaeology Archaeology Art Art Buildings & Views Buildings & Views Living in the North East Living in the North East Made In The North East Made In The North East People People Beyond the north east Beyond the north east

16 IMAGINE Project (NOF Digi) Images Museums And Galleries In the North East ArtArtist Date Contemporary craft Watercolours Oil paintings Prints Sculpture Metalwork, Glass and ceramics

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18 Issues for TWM with collection level description Standards applicable to museum collections and items and that relate to museum documentation systems Standards applicable to museum collections and items and that relate to museum documentation systems Terminology and cross searching Terminology and cross searching Relevance for access Relevance for access


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