Nigel Larkin B.A.(Hons) M.Sc.
Nigel is a conservator of natural history specimens specialising in the excavation, preparation, conservation, curation, storage and display of geological, palaeontological, archaeological and osteological material. He uses his blacksmithing and welding skills to make bespoke mounts for displaying museum specimens (up to the size of Asian elephants and Fin whales!) and also undertakes the moulding of museum specimens to produce high quality casts.
After working there full time for five years his project-funded contracts came to an end, but he still occasionally works for the Natural History Museum in a freelance capacity. He has assisted the Engineering Section of the Exhibitions and Education Department in mounting and installing geological material in the Earth Galleries exhibition, assisted in installing the travelling Kokoro robotic dinosaurs and has helped to organise major palaeontological excavations abroad (as site manager) for the Natural History Museum on several occasions.
After leaving the NHM, Nigel's next major contract was to manage the West Runton Elephant Conservation Project for Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service. This was externally financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund. He was responsible for designing and implementing the remedial and preventive conservation strategies and the curation of the West Runton Elephant and associated fauna (several hundred very important sub-fossil Pleistocene specimens). This included creating a new lab facility, managing staff and volunteers, creating temporary displays, delivering talks to the public, attracting funding, creating risk assessments, curating the material, casting replicas for research purposes, testing materials and publishing conservation research. Other departmental duties included: advising the Museums Service and general public on geological and palaeontological conservation and general natural history conservation; conserving and installing specimens as part of the £12million Norwich Castle Museum Redevelopment Project (HLF funded); advising on and undertaking preventive and remedial conservation of the geology collections and other natural history collections; identifying geological specimens; undertaking collections surveys; undertaking training of staff and public in conservation issues; and installing and maintaining various environmental monitoring systems.
After the West Runton Elephant Conservation Project was completed, Nigel was the Curator of Geology for Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service for several years. By then Norfolk Museums Service was the Hub museum service for the whole of the Eastern Regions. This position involved further experience in remedial conservation and preventive conservation projects, curation, documentation, conservation assessments and raising funds.
Nigel worked as a conservator and curator in national museums or regional Museums services for over 20 years, and in addition undertook a variety of freelance projects in his own time during this period. Now he works in a freelance capacity full time, mostly at home in Shropshire where he has a conservation studio.
Nigel recently completed a part-time Masters Degree in 'Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Systems' with the University of East London and the Centre for Alternative Technology. This is to enable him to provide advice to museums on how to conserve their energy with low-cost, low-tech solutions to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their energy costs. One tool he uses for assessing museum environments including analysing display areas and collection storage areas is an infra-red thermal imaging camera.
Memberships and affilations etc
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We are members of the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
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