A Busy Start to 2011

Although Christmas seems so far away, I rather enjoy coming back to work in the New Year. There is so much to look forward to, particularly the continuation of phase 4b which will give us our lovely new picture galleries. I have included an image of the final protection we gave to the ceramics cases, before the scaffolding is brought into the building to do some of the major work in the first gallery.

Despite the fact that I have just looked out of the window to see falling snow (just when we think it is ok to park our cars facing up the hill) the new year will, hopefully, bring us more daylight hours and milder temperatures. As nice as this will be, it will also cause stirrings in the insect world and those old enemies of the museum world will fly into our lovely building and deposit their hungry offspring onto our precious objects. Insect pests such as carpet beetles, clothes moths and spider beetles can cause terrible damage, which is why I spend a great deal of time monitoring their activity. If you visit the Museum and glance around the floor edges of the galleries you will probably see small sticky blunder traps which are placed in areas like fire places and beneath windows ( I have included an image of one). Today I began my quarterly check of these traps. By monitoring what has been caught on them I can get a broad view of what is happening in a particular area and decide whether we have an infestation or just normal background activity. Thankfully today’s checks didn’t reveal anything. This cold weather can be a blessing in disguise.

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