Looking through a lens HLF project will digitise the herbarium and two of the mineral collections at Kendal museum. My main role as the collections assistant intern is to assist the digital imaging scientist Tony Riley, with digitising the artefacts. This will involve managing the organisation and logistics of the collections to ensure an efficient production of photographs.
The mineral collections contain nearly 1500 specimens and the herbarium contains over 4000 individual sheets of plant specimens. This ambitious project will require a great deal of organisation to complete within the 12 month time scale set.
Since starting my role on the project I have undertaken training on how to handle the herbarium. The collection is currently not on display to the public as it is very delicate and can be easily damaged, due to its fragile nature only the natural history curator can handle the herbarium. Limiting the handling of the collection has prevented further deterioration. Photographing the collection and producing high quality preservation images will make the herbarium accessible to a wide audience and ensure that it is preserved for future generations.
When undertaking a project on this scale it is important to have a collections management plan this will ensure the project runs to schedule.
The collections management plan will include a work schedule with a time scale to complete digitisation as well the order to photograph the collections. One consideration is to photograph specimens according to size as this will limit the alteration to photography set up.
At Kendal museum Modes complete is the software used to manage the collections. An essential aspect of the digitisation project will be collating all collections data in one location. The end goal of the project is to produce a complete catalogue of the mineral and herbarium collections with digital images.