Over the past couple of days I’ve been unpacking a collection of brambles which were donated to the museum from an A. Newton. The collection is split into several different sections (e.g. the main herbarium collection and subsidiary herbarium as well as several other categories) and the one which I have been unpacking recently has been the subsidiary herbarium.


The boxes were sealed in plastic wrapping, and had already been through the museum freezers, in order to make sure no pests which may have been hiding away were introduced.


I started by opening the boxes, and making sure that the brambles within were in order according to the ‘Atlas of British and Irish brambles’. Thankfully, most of them were already in order and a minimum amount of rearranging was needed.


Storage boxes were then labelled and numbered according to the lowest specimen number through to the highest within each storage box, again according to ‘Atlas of British and Irish brambles’, and specimens were placed within. This was repeated for each of the seven boxes of the subsidiary herbarium.


I’ve enjoyed this little task, and it’s great to see how focused a collector can be when it comes to something that most people wouldn’t think twice about and goes to show how important museums are in conserving the work of such collectors.

I did end up getting spiked once or twice too, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time as there are a dozen or so other boxes to go!

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