Packing & stacking

After the excitement of last week’s press event, it was straight back to the business of packing up our specimens. There are roughly 4 million to see to, and we’re on a mission to have it finished by September this year. It’s a tall order, but nothing our crack team of conservators and volunteers can’t handle!

Some artefacts are trickier to pack than others. Sometimes parts of the original display come in useful – as we can see here with these sloth skeletons – the branches and bars they hung from have been incorporated into the frame of this storage crate.


The delicate skeletons also need to be stabilised so they don’t swing about when the crate is moved.  After a fair bit of careful measuring,  conservators Natalie and Vicky constructed  cradles made from thick Plastazote foam to support the neck and tail end of the sloth to keep it steady.

sloth packingThe sloth skulls were removed and boxed separately and padded out with acid-free tissue paper. There is a constant production line for these useful little pillows going on in the department. Even Linda in reception has been rustling some up for us when she has a spare moment!

sloth skullsHere’s one of our volunteers, Kelly,  with a pair of  flamingoes  and an Australian crane,  in the process of carefully wrapping up the beaky end of their skulls.


And here is volunteer, Margaret, measuring-up another box for another skeleton.

maragaret & crane

Our entire collection of birds from the British Isles has been packed and stacked!


And our giant bushy-tailed anteater has been bandaged and safely swaddled in all its fragile places!


That’s it for this week, only 3,276,189  specimens to go!


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