Shropshire Museums’ natural science collections date back to the founding of Ludlow and Shrewsbury Museums in 1833 and 1836 respectively. At Ludlow in particular they formed the core of the museum’s collections which were developed further in the 20th Century. Currently the majority of this collection is held at Ludlow Museum Resource Centre; a purpose built facility which opened in 2003.
- The Natural History collection contains around 77,000 specimens of fungi, plants, invertebrates and vertebrates. Around 60% of these are entomology specimens, most collected from the Welsh border region. A further 20% of the collection consists of British and foreign molluscs, including the collection of the Reverend Egerton.
- The vertebrate collection consists of around 55 glass fronted cases, many of which originated from Whitchurch Museum, approximately 500 mounted birds and around 100 mounted mammals. There is also a significant collection of bird’s eggs and nests.
- In addition there is a plant herbarium of around 3,000 mounted specimens and one bound volume and a good collection of British bryophytes, mainly from Shropshire localities.
- A small fluid collection consists of fewer than 500 jars of fungi, plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates, including a collection of fish from the River Teme.
- The Geology collection comprises some 41,500 specimens of fossils, minerals and rocks. Over 30,000 specimens are fossils, the main strength of which is the comprehensive range of material from the Palaeozoic of south Shropshire and the Welsh Borders.
- Of regional and national sigificance are the remarkably complete remains of the Shropshire Mammoths, discovered at Condover in the 1986 as well as Silurian cephalopods, Silurian and Devonian fish from Shropshire & the Welsh Borders and Rhyncosaur material and Cheirotherium prints from north Shropshire.
Of particular note in the collections are:
- Pleistocene mammoth remains from Condover in Shropshire;
- The Colvin & Baker collection of fossil vertebrates from the SiwalikHills of India; and
- Unusual taxidermy specimensincluding Great Auk, Passenger Pigeon and Huia.
Small permanent displays of natural science material are shown at Ludlow Museum and at Much Wenlock Museum, in particular the geology and wildlife of each area.
All other material is held at Ludlow Museum Resource Centre where it can be accessed by arrangement with collections staff by appointment.
Displays containing Natural Science collections are currently being planned for the new Shrewsbury Museum due to open in Autumn 2013. Other current work on the collections is focussed on elimintating documentation backlogs and collections research, with an emphasis on collectors and figures from the Museum’s past as well as the collections they gave.
Daniel Lockett, Visitor Facilities Manager
t: 01584 813640 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackie Tweddle, Collections Officer
t: 01584 813640 e: email@example.com