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From mussels and snails to fossils and flies, visitors to Colchester + Ipswich Museums will soon be able to discover more about the towns’ natural science collections, thanks to a £87,255 grant from the John Ellerman Foundation.
Colchester + Ipswich Museums made a successful bid for the funding to support its project ‘Evolving our Natural Science (EONS)’ which aims to raise awareness of the important natural science collections in both towns, and enable visitors to learn more about their local wildlife.
The Foundation’s support will fund a new Assistant Collections and Learning Curator post for three years. From this autumn, the successful candidate will work alongside two natural science specialists to help raise awareness and understanding of four nationally significant collections from the towns’ Museums: British molluscs and diptera (flies) in Colchester and fossils known as boxstones and the Victorian taxidermy bird collection in Ipswich.
Cllr Tim Young, Portfolio Holder for Business & Culture, Colchester Borough Council said: “With this very welcome funding we gain a fantastic opportunity to expand our knowledge of our local wildlife heritage and share that greater understanding with the public. We look forward to bringing a new member of the team on board to help us better understand and showcase the fascinating collections held in our museums.”
The work will also explore the significance of changes to natural habitat and climate revealed through study of the collections.
Cllr Carole Jones, Portfolio Holder for Museums and Planning, Ipswich Borough Council, said: “This funding will help the museums to ensure that the significance of the collections are understood and appreciated for a new generation of museum visitors who are fascinated with the natural world. I’d like to thank our Museum staff for their success in getting this very substantial sum to support the work of our Museums.”
The John Ellerman Foundation is an independent grant making foundation that aims to help strengthen regional museums and galleries in the UK by helping organisations to enhance and sustain curatorial development to attract a broader public.