First and last at the Natural History Museum

Last week I catalogued my last specimen in the Natural History Museum after five years working creating the first comprehensive online catalogue of the collections.

In a strange coincidence there was a beautiful symmetry to the first and last specimens I catalogued – they were both birds.

The first was a┬áStrickland’s woodpecker back in September 2008:


The last was a bird skeleton:

bird skeletonThe first bird is on display in the balcony exhibitions that are now closed to the public since the re-opening of the Natural History Museum in 2010. The bird skeleton was found in storage and obviously never came to the attention of Mr Spencer as it remains unidentified. The skeleton still has a metal ring around its leg.

Five years was a long, very rewarding time to spend with any collection. It is very surreal to leave now after spending so much time with the specimens, archives and people associated with the collections. I leave to begin a PhD programme, so hopefully I can take some of what I learnt with me to my future studies.