In September 2011 I started a 12 month internship in natural history conservation and collections care set up through ICON (the Institute of Conservation) and funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund. The internship was to be spent at the Lancashire Conservation Studios in the grounds of the Museum of Lancashire in Preston; and I would be spending my time learning about the conservation of taxidermy with leading taxidermist, James Dickinson. As well as this there would be opportunities to learn about entomology and botany collections in other institutions.
I had been successful in the interview for the role the previous year but due to the illness of my supervisor the start of the internship was delayed. I discussed options for starting the first 3 months of my internship elsewhere, and was very lucky to get my number 1 choice- the Natural History Museum, London. So I at last started in September with a 3 month placement in the palaeontology conservation unit before returning to Lancashire.
The PCU is the only conservation unit in the museum. They prioritise the conservation of the palaeontology collection. They work mainly as preventative conservators but they do carry out remedial conservation where an object is necessary for research.
It was always my intention to write a blog from the beginning, but what with moving to London and adjusting to full time work again it all rushed by pretty fast! Fortunately I did manage to keep a daily diary so I now intend to do a back track summary of my first 3 months at the NHM through this blog. So keep an eye out for the first instalment!