Moving the UCL Grant Museum


[ background music ]>>In my opinion this is quite
an unusual move procedure for a museum. We were very short of time when
we were told that we’d need to be out of the old space
and pack it. There’s about 68,000
specimens in the collection. It took about three months
to pack up the museum in the Darwin building and
we had specialist museum packers to work with us so
it’s not just a case of getting a man in a van
and sticking it in. [ music ] The space we’ve got
now is much bigger. It’s also got a big central
space which we can use for teaching, public events
and meetings, really anything which we didn’t have
in the old spaces. Also significantly larger
in terms of display cases. Being a former library the whole
room’s lined with bookcases. [ music ] Because we’ve got so much more
space it really, actually was a fairly unplanned process in
that we’d unpack a box and decide where it goes and every case
on the wall is a different size and height and width so
it’d be really hard to plan anyway cause you’d
have to measure the footprint of every specimen
before you planned it so it was almost
entirely unplanned. We’ve always had
on display a tray of dodo bones; it’s a fairly
large collection so it’s a tray of bones but it’s
actually significant. Some things that
we were really worried about we looked after. That’s actually known as Elky:
it’s a giant deer skull and antlers, nearly
three metres across. He’s very difficult to pack
and we didn’t know quite where he was going
in the new museum so he’s caused some problems
but he was the last thing to come in but he’s fine now. [ music ] The museum is mostly
arranged taxonomically, so every animal is displayed
with its relatives but with some of the new cases, the book cases,
we’ve done some other things, so we’ve got 10 of the
cases that we’re calling question cases and each of these cases has
an iPad attached to them and museums haven’t used
iPads in this way before so it’s kind of testing
technology. The museum has been taking shape
slowly and slowly and slowly since we took over
the space in November so it’s only taken five months
to bring everything in. We were mostly unpacked
by the end of January; it’s very exciting to see it. It’s an old Victorian
collection with nice cutting edge
technology doing new things. [music]

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