Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Workshop: Care & Conservation of Zoological Collections
expand article info Julian Carter
‡ Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Open Access


Zoological collections house a huge range of biological diversity preserved in a wide variety of ways ranging from microscope mounts to whole animals preserved in fluids. The result is that these collections consist of a wide range of differing materials which can make the long term care and conservation of such collections a considerable challenge.

This workshop is designed for museum professionals with the aim of giving an introductory overview on museum conservation approaches towards the care of zoological collections. This will be achieved through identifying the key risks and looking at the application of both remedial and preventative conservation methodologies to their care.

The format of the workshop will be lectures on specific topics with group discussions, along with (where feasible) activities in small groups and practical examinations of specimens. Topics covered will include:

  • Introduction to the concepts of ‘museum conservation’ and its application within the Natural Sciences.

  • The types of material found in zoological collections – an overview of the core collection types, the chemistry of preservation and the potential long term challenges these present.

  • An overview of the key agents of deterioration.

  • Environmental effects and how to recognise them.

  • Awareness of hazardous materials and core H&S issues encountered with the care and handling of zoological collections.

  • Assessing collections and deciding conservation priorities.

  • Fur, feathers and bones - practical conservation approaches to cleaning, consolidation and repair.

  • Fluid collections - practical conservation approaches to handling, identifying fluids and carrying out remedial activities.

  • Other key collection areas – e.g. conservation of entomology and other dried invertebrate collections; microscope slide collections.

  • Consideration of the care and conservation of specialist collections e.g. historic models such as Blaschka glass models.

Discussion and feedback from attendees will be a core part of the day.


museum conservation, zoological collections, taxidermy, skeletal, fluid collections, entomology, collection care

Presenting author

Julian Carter