Documenting 1,600 glacial erratics for Norwich Castle Museum

Nigel Larkin and Dr Peter Hoare have recently documented about 1,600 glacial erratics in the geology collection of Norwich Castle Museum. This entailed: tracking down all the erratics in the collection and re-packing them in one location in the museum store; checking their descriptions; and bringing together all the disparate information about the specimens from the various catalogues, accession registers, index cards and published papers in an organised searchable and browseable database.

The specimens above are examples from the collection - a fossil fern (Neuropteris) in a nodule, a fragment of fossilised narwhal tusk, and a rhomb porphyry from Norway. Each of which was transported many miles to Norfolk by ice sheets during the Ice Ages.

This valuable research collection was previously almost impossible to extract information from. Now all the specimens are fully documented and the information has been made available to everyone via the internet through the Norwich Castle Museum website.

This project was written-up and published, to describe the archive and bring attention to it:
The glacial erratic collection at Norwich Castle Museum. Hoare, P.G., Larkin, N.R. (2008). Bulletin of the Geological Society of Norfolk, 58, 37-61.

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We are members of the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and committee members of the Natural Sciences Conservation Group.

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