A project in 2010-2011, funded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) Designated Development funding, saw the employment of the Museum’s first ever professional archivist, Sandra Marsh. As a result of this we have now determined the scope of the archival collections and at the same time improved storage of these important records.
The archive includes the papers charting the history and development of the Museum, as well as the famous Sedgwick Club, started in 1880 in memory of Adam Sedgwick, after whom the Museum is named. The Archive also includes the many field notebooks, sketchbooks and specimen catalogues of Adam Sedgwick himself.
How are the Archives being processed?
In 2010-2011 the Archivist, together with the assistance of Dr Lyall Anderson and several volunteers re-boxed the archives and undertook some simple listing of records. There are now over 1000 conservation grade boxes in the archive collection which are on metal racking, and more easily accessible by staff and researchers. Some of the material was listed and repackaged into acid-free folders to make it easier to locate and use for research.
Images of before and after inside the Archive Store
The Museum was successful in securing funding from Trinity College’s Isaac Newton Trust to continue important work on the collections during 2011-2012. This has enabled us to catalogue some parts of the collection, develop an exhibition in the Museum (opened in March 2012), continue to seek funding to further improve access to the collections through specific projects, and activities to promote the collections.
The discovery of over 100 fossils of a tiny extinct creature called Metaspriggina from Cambrian age strata, between 500 and 515 million years old and exposed in a number of localities across North America, is helping to clarify our understanding of early fish evolution.