Making a better future this Giving Tuesday
2 December 2019
This International Giving Day (Tuesday 3 December) we are looking at the different ways you support us. From volunteering your time, attending our events, never missing an exhibition or making a donation. It all helps RAMM continue its invaluable work.
The upkeep of the Natural History collections means so much more than just saving them for the enjoyment of future museum-goers. It allows us to contribute to scientific research!
The Linter Collection
Since the Victorian era there has been a rapid loss of natural habitats, with species becoming endangered or extinct. RAMM houses collections that predate this loss. This means we record the biodiversity, ecosystems and evolution of a by-gone era. Valuable data for both scientific research and our curious-minded visitors!
Miss Juliana Linter’s collection of 15,000 or so shells before the dramatic environmental changes of the twentieth century. Many of the species may be near impossible to collect today, and the specimens and rich data can contribute to conservation efforts.
The Worton Collection
Collections can be contemporary as well as historical to be of scientific value. Modern specimens also record the presence of a particular species at a specific time and place. This is important evidence of how environments and biodiversity continue to fluctuate. Acquired in 2015, Derrick Worton’s butterfly collection includes around 7,000 specimens from the late 1800s to 2000. Some are now endangered or extinct in Britain.
Derrick’s collection includes native large blue butterflies. These were rare when first recorded in 1795 and extinct by the late 1970s due to habitat loss. They are an irreplaceable genetic record of native large blue butterflies. This means the collection is of both national and international significance for the information it can provide.
Little Swan Island hutia
Finally, in 2013 RAMM stumbled upon two specimens of the Little Swan Island hutia. There are records of only 12 other specimens in U.K. museums, at the Natural History Museum in London. As an extinct creature, their discovery is an excellent example of how regional museum collections benefit current scientific research as much as national museums.
This post briefly illustrates the value of RAMM’s Natural History collections in documenting historical and contemporary patterns of biodiversity and their use to the international scientific community.
To maintain this value, we must carry on caring for our collections. By sharing them globally, we make a wealth of data accessible to researchers. Together we can contribute to a better understanding of our natural world.
Help us make a better future
Donations help us do this, please consider donating this Giving Tuesday.