Recently I spent a week working with Tony Hunter, Entomology Development Curator, at Liverpool World Museum. After working with him previously for a couple of days on another placement, I had this opportunity to spend the full week working with him and the Entomology collection.
I spent time working on a recently donated collection of European Hymenoptera specimens. After being frozen beforehand to ensure there were no pests being brought into the collection the specimens were given accession labels. These labels were simply cut and pinned to the specimen, ready to be data-based at a later date.
As the specimens had already been determined to family level, they were then incorporated into the collections at the end, where they would be stored until they are determined to a genus and species level. When this happens, the specimens would then move into the main collection.
I was also given the task of expanding the European Odonata collection. There were around 20 specimens that had been determined and needed to be incorporated into the main collection. To do this, I was given an extra drawer increasing the total drawers from 6 to 7 and worked backwards, moving specimens and their labels further down in the drawers, leaving space for future expansion of species that are represented in the collection, as well as leaving space at the end of the last drawer for further expansion of the collection if it was needed in the future.
Carrying on from my first week in Liverpool, I and Tony also spent time on accessioning dragonfly specimens that had been given temporary accession numbers. This was simply a repeat of the task I had spent time doing previously. Again this gave me more experience with ‘Mimsy’, the collections management software for the WML, enhancing my confidence and ability with another piece of collections management software.
We also spent time identifying some unincorporated Hymenoptera specimens. This involved using a microscope to attempt to ID specimens to their genus level then arranging those in the same genus together, which would then make incorporation at a later date easier. It was a difficult task, especially only having such a short amount of time to do this, but it is definitely something I’d like to try to work on in the future.
I also got to help prepare the department for the AGM of the Amateur Entomologists’ Society which was taking place on the Saturday. This involved me picking out specimens to lay out for the tour of the collection which would be run by Tony. I then helped prepare the meeting space, simply by moving tables/benches so space could be created for the members on the weekend.
I enjoyed my time at World Museum Liverpool and am thankful to Tony for allowing me to work with him.