It has been a busy week at Tullie house and CBDC this week. With Tullie house there has been a lot of work to do with green GB week as well as general collections care. I have also been doing a lot more work on the inputting and sorting the herbarium data for CBDC.
You may have heard about green GB week a bit (though I don’t think it got much publicity), but it was a week marking 10 years since the climate change act. So, for it we decided to create a stand that illustrated plastic pollution. We did this through offering accessible facts and information about plastic pollution and ways to reduce personal plastic waste. We also created a beach scene that illustrated how plastic impacts our wildlife, this linked well to a PowerPoint I created about a local beach cleaning group and what they find on our local beaches. Finally, because we have the wonderful Drigsby, our suspended Sei whale, we talked about one of the theories behind its death, aged only one, which is that its death was caused by plastic pollution in our ocean. It wasn’t a very busy day at the museum but all the people that where around did come over and engage with the stand and found out some information on plastic pollutions and took home some leaflets.
I have been continuing with the herbarium project this week and have digitalised lots of cards (see image below) , I just passed 500 cards which is a lot but is only a third of one drawer and there are 4 drawers to do so far. I also have started to sort and arrange the drawers to make them more accessible to people. This is a long-term project and I need to get all the information out of them so that I can start to organise and sort them based on family, genus and then species. This project is starting to really open my eyes though to the female botanists of Cumbria, and how different it was then compared to now. You will probably see a more in-depth blog post about this from me soon.
This week we also had to do some emergency pest control on some of the herbarium sheets as, while some volunteers were taking photos of them to create a digital data base, they discovered some damage to the leaves. On closer inspection it turned out beetles had gotten in and were chewing at some of the leaves so we quickly went through and separated the sheets that had been damaged. These were then frozen or quarantined depending on how seriously they had been damaged, luckily there weren’t that many sheets affected and it was caught quickly. It did remind me however how delicate and irreplaceable the collection is and how vigilant you have to be to make sure that everything is well protected.