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Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
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Collections Review of the spirit preserved specimens

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery holds over half a million objects! Many of these objects need a lot of research to find out the stories hidden behind them. In 2010, we were successful in funding from the Museums Association to carry out a very detailed collections review of the spirit collections.

The aim of the collections review was to work closely with two specialists in marine zoology to go through the collections and share their specialist knowledge with the curators. There are over 4000 specimens in the spirit collections, and we wanted to know what we had, so the specimens could be used to their fullest potential. The document below is a detailed write up of this review.

The review, adapted from the UCL Collections Review Toolkit, highlighted specimens which needed serious conservation, and scientifically important specimens including a type and two co-type specimens, and several specimens from Scott’s Antarctic expedition in 1910.

The museum has worked closely with the specialists, and experts from the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth to successfully transfer some specimens to other museums. These specimens will be used more in these museums, and allows the curators at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery to work on the local fauna from Plymouth.

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