Littlehampton Museum insect collection selected for Royal Society Places of Science scheme

Jonathan Parrett, collections documentation officer, at Littlehampton Museum.Photo by Derek Martin DM1880830a
Jonathan Parrett, collections documentation officer, at Littlehampton Museum.Photo by Derek Martin DM1880830a

Littlehampton Museum’s previously undisplayed and unclassified collection of insect specimens will be the focus of a new project and the community is invited to get involved.

Project Life-Cycle has been selected for the Royal Society Places of Science scheme, which gives grants of up to £3,000 to help small museums fund projects to engage people with science stories from their area.

Residents of Littlehampton are urged to help with the identification and care of more than 1,000 insect specimens in the collection.

Jonathan Parrett, collections documentation officer at Littlehampton Museum, said: “In a wider sense, this project will aim to recapture the story of a Littlehampton local, Major Harry Jeddere-Fisher, member of Littlehampton Natural History and Archaeology Circle, which helped found the museum.

“Both organisations have been inspired by the Victorian legacy of the ‘pursuit of scientific truth’. By focusing on developing our own knowledge of Littlehampton Museum’s small collection of insect specimens, we can better understand what motivated the museum’s founders in their quest to share scientific discovery with the local community.”

The museum will work with an entomologist to deliver a series of workshops to train community volunteers and museum staff in the care, identification and display of the collection.

The full documentation and cataloguing of the collection will be carried out in the museum’s new public space, where staff and volunteers will involve visitors in the process.

The Royal Society recently announced 12 Places of Science grants for small museums across the UK.

The scheme aims to highlight the science embedded in every aspect of culture, encouraging museums to think creatively and, most of all, their locality.

Professor Jonathan Ashmore, chairman of the allocation panel, said: “The standard of the applications was very high and, with difficulty, we chose a set of projects around the country which we thought would have a high significance and impact for the communities and their museums.”

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