My first week at Tullie was all a bit of a blur, it was mainly introductions to all the people that worked at Tullie (it’s a big organisation). But I also got introduced to the museum stores and some of the work that I would be doing.
Simon took me on a tour of the natural history stores, this included an introduction to basic collection care and the different types of storage and classification that different types of specimen require. For example, the main store area contains the skins collection that are stored in racks that are organised in different drawers based on taxonomic grouping. This hopefully means that my Latin is going to be great by the end of this placement because no common names are used.
Simon also taught me about pest management, taxidermy, entomology and how herbarium sheets are a pest’s dream, so the museum has serious pest monitoring in place. Each store has multiple pest traps, the glue kind that are checked every few months and anything found in them that is considered a pest is recorded. This information can then be used to assess how effective the stores are and general conditions in the stores, for example silverfish suggest the stores have high humidity.
I also got introduced to the CBDC and Debs the manager, who explained what they do, how they function as part of Tullie house and about her role. Debs told me how their information is used and all about the data entry side of the work, CBDC has around 2.2 million records that are used all over the county for different projects. She also talked to me about some of the areas that she wanted me to take on, this included the Facebook page and the upcoming newsletter. She also introduced me to April who oversees LOST, a project funded by Plantlife that CBDC is hosting.
I also spent the first week just adjusting to working in an office and having a desk which was a bit of a daunting prospect. This included attempting to learn as many names as possible and trying to find my way around, because to begin with it was pretty mazy.