The Booth Museum has had two international visitors this month on very different missions. Both were from North America, and both are studying for their Ph.D.s.
First we welcomed Caitlin Silberman from California, but studying for her doctorate in Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is in the early stages of writing a dissertation on birds and bird/human hybridity in Victorian British art, visual culture, and material culture. One of her chapters deals with bird taxidermy, and the Booth Museum is of course a prime source for nineteenth-century taxidermy. Caitlin looked at all our archives about Mr. Booth, his diaries, catalogues and paintings, as well of course as his splendid 4-volume publication ‘Rough notes on the birds observed during twenty-five years’ shooting and Collecting in the British Islands, 1881-1887.
Only a week later, we were happy to be able to help Michelle Campbell in her quest for Chalk fossils of some early representatives of marine reptiles. Michelle is studying for her doctorate at the University of Alberta, though she originally comes from Ottawa. She is interested in how land-based reptiles made the leap into becoming fully marine in their habits. Michelle’s supervisor, Prof. Mike Caldwell first visited the Booth Museum in 1995 and discovered our rich collection of 85 million year old fossils which he studied and published on. Michelle is extending those studies.
We take a great deal of pleasure in the knowledge that we are able to help people as diverse as scientists and art historians advance their studies by using the collections in the Booth Museum.
John Cooper, Keeper of Natural Sciences