Thursday AKA the final day : ( began with a discussion with Jovita about loans; why they are necessary and issues surrounding agreeing to loan objects. The NHM is understandably reluctant to loan items to anyone; only people affiliated with institutions usually get the nod, and even then they could be denied if there is only one specimen kept in store. Sometimes loans can be really useful; like in the specimens that I filed away on Tuesday that had been determined (identified) by an expert.
Then Ranee brought in a recent loan request and we selected some objects that had been requested. Some objects couldn’t be loaned as they were type specimens or they were the only example. In these cases, they could be scanned (see Wednesday for details) and sent to the recipient digitally.
Finally, Ranee went through the paperwork that needs to be completed for a loan to be accepted.
In the afternoon, I was on IPM (see Integrated Pest Management blog post) patrol checking blunder traps with Edgley in the Cryptogamic department which is in the ‘old’ Waterhouse building at the museum and therefore much more vulnerable to pests than the climate-controlled Darwin Centre.
I got to explore some really interesting parts of the museum; including heading up to the top of one of the towers! However, this was done for a reason, as there is a blunder trap about half-way up! We saw some interesting insects; the most common pests being the larvae of the common booklouse (Liposcelis bostrychophila). Fortunately, based upon previous recordings there wasn’t really signs of an infestation from any of the traps checked.
The final part of the day was spent laying in (see Tuesday’s blog post) before the week ended as it had begun with a well-earned cup of tea and discussion about what I’d got out of my week with Jovita.
I had such a great four days at the NHM and really appreciated the efforts that everyone went to in making my programme as varied and interesting as possible at all times. Thanks in particular to Jovita, Ranee, Jonathan, Edgley, and Felipe for their time and for always making me feel so welcome. I look forward to implementing my new skills during my curation at Manchester.