What lies beneath: dusting and documenting the blue whale skeleton | Conservators

The team have been busy in the 3 weeks since my last post, studying the blue whale skeleton and documenting its condition. The first stage was to record the initial condition of the skeleton, including the coating of dust that has accumulated over time, and to start to identify areas which would require attention prior to dismantling.

Photo showing the dusty vertebra close up
Thoracic vertebrae coated in dust and also showing an area where a metal support has failed.

Dust particles that are deposited on museum objects will typically consist of fibrous material (aka “fluff”) and non-fibrous particulates. Dust is hygroscopic and can accelerate biological, chemical and physical deterioration of specimens and even though it is over 6 metres above the ground, the whale skeleton is a dust attractor so a regular cleaning schedule is important where practicable. On this occasion, over 1.3 kilos of dust was removed from the blue whale skeleton during this initial clean.

Continue reading “What lies beneath: dusting and documenting the blue whale skeleton | Conservators”

See London’s museums from a different perspective with #MuseumInstaSwap | Take Part

This week, the Museum joins nine other London-based museums for #MuseumInstaSwap, a project to celebrate our spaces and collections through the medium of Instagram.

phone displaying natural history museum instagram account outside victoria and albert museum
We’re taking our Instagram account across the road to our neighbour the Victoria and Albert Museum for the week

The idea for #MuseumInstaSwap began after Londonist listed their 10 best London museums on Instagram. On seeing such a variety of museums, each with fascinating Instagram feeds, we all knew there had to be an exciting way to collaborate and share our content.

The 10 museums taking part – representing a diverse range of subjects and sizes – have paired up to take part in a week-long cultural exchange to reveal our collections in a new light. Continue reading “See London’s museums from a different perspective with #MuseumInstaSwap | Take Part”