Faded Specimens and the Importance of Object Rotation!

At the Booth Museum our insect displays were originally built in the early 1980s.

Since then the objects have been enjoyed by many thousands of visitors. However, the scale of the displays, the difficulty in accessing the cabinets and the availability of staff has meant these objects have not been changed since they were originally installed.

Having finally completed a test re-display of one of the insect cabinets, we turned our attention to the next one along. This display of British lepidoptera looked uniformly brown and white. Most viewers unfamiliar with the insects may assume the moths are naturally this colour, but we realised they were severely faded.

We set about switching the specimens displayed with examples from our spares collections (both those displayed and those replacing them are specimens without data, so not part of our scientific collections).

Whilst this will be an ongoing project, we have successfully replaced most of the more eye catching specimens. The gallery of images here gives an idea of how faded the removed specimens were! Click on the image for the full view. 

Lee Ismail, Curator of Natural Sciences

 

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