24 00 Winter/ Spring
In this issue….. Deep Clean Pg.1 Friend’s Support of the Museum Pg.2 Friend’s Forthcoming Events Pg.3 Sedgwick & Geol. Club Forthcoming Events Pg.4 Welcome to our New Administrator Pg.5 Edward Tawney Pg.6 Exhibition News Pg.7 Booking Form Pg.8
A CLEAN START TO THE 2012 Museum staff started off the new year by carrying out a ‘deep clean’. Carpets were chemically cleaned, ledges dusted, dinosaurs vacuumed and glass and surfaces polished. The shop has had a good clear out and is ready to receive lots of exciting new stock. The Whewell mineral gallery got some special treatment with all minerals taken out and individually cleaned. You will all know how many objects exist in the Sedgwick so this was quite a task! All staff worked very hard and you can see us in action in the pictures below.
The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EQ Opening hours: Monday – Friday 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 5 pm Saturday 10 am – 4 pm Telephone: (01223) 333456 Fax: (01223) 333450 Email: email@example.com Website: www.sedgwickmuseum.org Friends of the Sedgwick Museum Website: www.friendsofsedgwickmuseum.com
Trilobite – Friend’s News
Friends’ Support of the Museum Since our first meeting in 2000, the Friends have arranged many meetings and visits focussed on many topics in and around the Earth Sciences. Amongst others our visits have ranged from the Northern Pennines, via North Wales and the Isle of Wight to the volcanoes of Southern Italy and France, and we have explored in detail many aspects of the Eastern Counties. There are no signs of these activities becoming less varied, in fact very much the reverse (see Forthcoming Events).
However, at times it seems wise to reflect a little on the different ways that we are supporting the Museum which is, after all, our central
“…here are some of the ways the Friends have been providing support….”
charitable aim! In no particular order, here are some of the ways the Friends raise money and provide support: Subscriptions. An individual member currently pays £12 per year (families £18, concessions £8 and young people £6), and this, with gift-aid, raises somewhat over £2,500 each year. This not only covers the cost of postage and printing, allowing us to communicate information within the Friends and to offer free copies of the Newsletter to visitors to the Museum, but also makes an important contribution to our support of the Museum. For example in providing funds for tangible items such as microscopes, environmental monitoring equipment and reference books and also to support staff in attending conferences by assisting with their travel and other expenses.
Donations and bequests. Members have periodically made very generous donations to the Friends, and these have allowed us to make larger grants, even up to thousands of pounds, in a few cases. This generosity has allowed us to support various projects in a very significant way. Volunteer support. Members have given generously to support work on Museum archives, specimen cleaning, sorting and cataloguing, as well as welcoming and explaining the Museum to visitors. The value of this work is enormous, and very rarely properly assessed in terms of its equivalent monetary value. Other support. In each of the last five years the Friends have set aside funds for student placements to assist Museum staff on specific projects and have recently funded (on a fixed term basis) an assistant for the Museum archivist. Both demonstrate how the Friends can provide invaluable support to the Museum. Programme of events. We see our talks and visits as key elements in providing education and knowledge and in building an atmosphere of enthusiasm for Earth Science in general with a mixture of annual events such as the Field Trip and the Dinner celebrating Adam Sedgwick. These events are self-funding in that members now contribute £2 per event and pay personally for other costs such as transport, meals and hand-out materials. Members participating in these events contribute very importantly to general interest in the subject, and it is clear that new members join because of this. Geo-conservation. We are very keen to maintain our overlapping links with the Cambridge Geology Club which is currently taking a lead in listing important sites in the County of Cambridgeshire, which we see as a key development in enlarging Earth Science enthusiasm and education to the widest possible public. We also need to continue to participate in new initiatives and forge new links (for example with the Geo-East partnership in the Eastern Counties). Peter Friend
Trilobite – Friend’s News FRIENDS’ FORTHCOMING EVENTS February – June 2012 T politics and petroleum: conflicting issues in Arctic hydrocarbon exploration. Polar bears, Talk on Tuesday, 28th February, by Dr. Robert Scott, CASP (formerly Cambridge Arctic Shelf Programme), 6.15 for 7.00 pm start, in the Department of Earth Sciences. Adam Sedgwick Anniversary Dinner Wednesday, 21 March 2012, Old Hall, Queens’ College, 7 for 7.30 pm. Speaker, Dr Ken McNamara, Sedgwick Museum Director. Our annual Dinner has always been a really enjoyable way of making new friends and renewing old Friendships, in a College setting. Revised prices: £44 with wines, £36 with soft drinks. Please register before 9 March, using the form attached to this Newsletter. Kindly return the form, along with your cheque, to Janet Herdman, Department of Mineral Sciences and Metallurgy, Pembroke St., Cambridge. CB2 3QZ. Janet has kindly agreed to be registrar for this event, and can be E-mailed on <firstname.lastname@example.org> Janet will send you ticket(s) when she has received your cheque. Museum Archive Exhibition Friday, 30th March, 5.30-7.30 pm. Opening party with refreshments celebrating some of the treasures unearthed over the last two years of work on the Museum’s archives (supported by Friends’ funds). All Friends welcome. If you can attend, please E-mail Rob Theodore on email@example.com by 15 March. Visit to the North-east Norfolk Coast Saturday, 5th May 2012. Classic ground for understanding early Ice Age and human arrival evidence in East Anglia. Leaders, Drs Peter Hoare and Peter Friend, possibly Dr Steve Boreham. We plan to hire a bus to leave Downing St.,Cambridge at 8.30 am on the Saturday, and will visit Happisburgh, Overstrand. West Runton, Cromer, and possibly other sites. Please complete the form attached to this Newsletter, and send your deposit of £10 by cheque to our registrar for this event by 21 April please . She is Susie Sinclair (2 Champneys Walk, Cambridge, CB3 9AW) or firstname.lastname@example.org . People may order a fish-and-chip lunch (for about £10) to be served in the Village Inn, West Runton, and we will ask people to bring a further cheque on the Visit to pay the balance for hire of the bus, lunch etc lunch. Visit to Marston Vale, Bedfordshire Saturday, 19th May 2012. Martin Whiteley, Tim Farewell and Peter Friend have been exploring this remarkable 20 by 10 km Vale, on the basis of special topographic maps created at the University of Cranwell. We plan to hire a bus that will leave Downing St., Cambridge at 10 am. Please book by completing the form attached, and sending a deposit of £10, by 5th May please. We will ask for a further cheque during the Visit to cover further bus costs and hand-out expenses. AGMeeting, with Talks Tuesday 12th June 2012. 6-7.30 pm in the Department of Earth Sciences. Local members, please try to attend this meeting, when we shall encourage discussion of future activities, and have also invited some short talks on these. Weekend Visit to the Scottish East Coast Borderland. Friday – Sunday 15-17 June, 2012. We are pleased to have received a very enthusiastic registration for this weekend (59 registrants), so we are expecting to divide the party into two groups with separate leaders. Our registrar for this Visit is Margaret Sanderson (157 High St., Chesterton, Cambridge, CB4 1NL), email@example.com Plans for June 2013 Our announcement of the plan to visit the volcanic island of Santorini in early June 2013, has received a very enthusiastic reception. The maximum number of 25 people have now paid their deposits, so we are now opening a waiting list! We are still making arrangements to be led by a geologist with current research interests in the island. The Registrar for this Visit is Dr. Mike Tuke (Old Farm House, Waterloo Farm, Great Stukeley Cambs, PE28 4HQ) or firstname.lastname@example.org Page 3
Trilobite – Museum News SEDGWICK MUSEUM FORTHCOMING EVENTS Date: 25th February 2012 Time: 11:00 - 3.30pm Title: Hands-on Saturday Take a closer look at minerals, rocks and fossils! Join volunteers from Time Truck for a chance to handle and investigate amazing objects from the collections of the Sedgwick Museum. Free, No need to book, just drop in! This event is for: all visitors, families. Recommended for children over 5 years of age. Date: Saturday 17th March 2012 Time: 10.30 - 15.30 Title: Time Truck at the Sedgwick Museum Travel in time with Time Truck! Investigate rocks and minerals, discover dinosaurs and explore earthquake science with hands on activities and demonstrations. Drop-in, all ages, hands-on. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Free but donations welcomed. Date: Tuesday 20th March Time: 18.30 - 19.30 Title: Title: "The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Last 3.5 Billion Years" or 'What the fossil record can tell you about the evolution of life if you are not too afraid to ask...' Join Dr Ken MacNamara, Director of the Sedgwick Museum, for a roller-coaster ride through the whole history of life on Earth and find out how recent fossil discoveries have changed our understanding of the evolution of living things. Ages 12+ / adult. The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences will be open from 18.00. This talk must be pre-booked. For bookings please call the Festivals Office on 01223 766766. Free but donations welcomed. Date: Friday 23rd March Time: 17.00pm- 19.00pm Title: 'Understanding the Earth - archival evidence' preview evening The Sedgwick Museum Archive holds over 800 boxes full of irreplaceable materials relating to the history of geology and the Earth Sciences. Dating back to the 17th Century they provide provide unique insights into the development of this field of scientific investigation and the people involved. This special evening viewing of a brand new exhibition of original and scanned documents and images from the archives will provide a one-off opportunity to talk to Sandra Marsh, the archivist responsible for organising and caring for this fascinating collection. Ages 12+ / adult. Free but donations welcomed
CAMBRIDGESHIRE GEOLOGY CLUB FORTHCOMING EVENTS Cambridgeshire Geology Club meets at the Friends Meeting House, 91-93 Hartingdon Grove, Cambridge, CB1 7UB Talks start at 7.30 pm and door opens at 7.00 pm. Monday 12th March, “The Geology and Landscapes of Scotland “ Dr Peter Friend, University of Cambridge Monday 16th April, “A lot of Hot Air: volcanic eruptions and their climate impacts” Dr Marie Edmonds, University of Cambridge Monday, 14th May, “Geology and Landscape of Hertfordshire” Professor John Catt. Hertfordshire Geology Society Monday, 11th June,” Under the Volcano: layered intrusions of the North Atlantic Tertiary Igneous Province” Dr Marian Holness, University of Cambridge. Monday, 9th July, Open Evening, including review of recent work of the Cambridgeshire Geosites Team.
Trilobite – Museum News
Welcome to our new Administrator From November 2011 the Sedgwick Museum has had a new member of staff in the form of an Administrator. Sarah Hammond comes to Cambridge from Scotland having previously worked at the Museum of the University of St Andrews. Sarah has previously trained and worked as an archaeologist before moving into heritage management. The role of an Administrator is extremely varied and here Sarah describes some of the projects she will be working on – “In addition to providing strategic support to the museum staff working in collections and education I will be working on a new marketing strategy which includes a new website design as well as publicity and promotion. The Sedgwick is a wonderful museum with fascinating collections and loyal visitors. I want to spread the word about what we have here and really improve upon the visitor experience by responding to feedback and evaluations with redevelopments and improvements to facilities and overall experience.
“…I hope to really showcase what the Sedgwick has to offer to the public as well as the academic community…”
The shop will be launching new stock to appeal to all our audiences and will have a makeover itself in 2013. I will be co-ordinating a volunteer strategy to support museum staff and also offer real museum working experience to those who are interested in the sector and earth sciences. I plan to be working much closely with the Friends of the Sedgwick group to expand upon our member base and plan even more improvements to the museum itself with their support.” “2012 is going to be a busy year for the Sedgwick with lots of different and interesting projects happening – my role will be one of support and co-ordination and also reporting back to the public and the Friends on our progress in the Sedgwick”
Trilobite – Museum News
Edward Tawney (1840-1882): Dissecting Sedgwick’s rocks. Lyall I. Anderson (Archive Assistant) Members may recall that back in November 2011, I presented an evening talk on the petrologist Alfred Harker to the Friends. This was based on the paper materials uncovered in the Sedgwick Museum’s Archive as a result of ongoing cataloguing work. Sandra Marsh (Sedgwick Museum Archivist) and I have since turned our attention to papers relating to Harker’s immediate predecessor, Edward B. Tawney. Here I report progress so far, and present some insights into this little known figure in the development of our museum’s collections. Edward Tawney was born in 1840. On the death of his father, young Edward was sent to Clifton, near Bristol to live with his uncle. Between 1860 and 1863, Tawney studied at Roderick Murchison’s Royal School of Mines in London. In 1872 he was appointed Assistant Curator at Bristol Museum. He worked there up until 1878, when Thomas McKenny Hughes offered him a position at Cambridge as his Assistant. Tawney, a keen fossil collector, now had access to one of the major fossil collections of the World. His broad geological training also enabled him to work on rocks and minerals. Tawney pioneered the preparation of rock slices (microscope slides) from Adam Sedgwick’s Welsh collections. This aided the identification and classification of the samples, adding further scientific value to them. Alfred Harker was later to continue and massively expand this work a few years after Tawney’s early death. We have identified a series of 20 notebooks belonging to Tawney in the Archive. These span his early investigations into the geology of south-west England, his time at Bristol Museum and finally his contributions to the Woodwardian Museum (later to become the Sedgwick in 1904). As well as having relevance to fossils now held by the Sedgwick Museum, these notebooks are full of interesting entries and potential stories we can use in Museum activities. One of my favourite snippets occurs in a notebook titled “Notes on Rock-slices in Woodwardian Museum – Channel Rocks”. The channel refered to is of course the English Channel. This notebook was written between 1880 and 1882 and reveals some novel sampling techniques. On p.15, Tawney describes ‘Rock No.2, collected from the doorstop of the Brixham Orphanage’. Interest in building stones in Cambridge obviously has some history! Later, he describes “Rock 23, a micacesous sandstone taken by the fishing boat ‘Pelican’ 5 miles SE of Start Point on 25 February 1882”. Rock No.20 has a similar origin – “Granite taken from the trawler ‘Ernest’ in December 1881”. Apparently the Devon fishermen of Brixham harbour were more than happy to benefit from these unusual catches in their nets. We now have a wealth of information on Edward Tawney. Rob Theodore (Collections Assistant – Display and Documentation) and I plan to write up our findings for publication. Tawney’s fossil collection held in the Sedgwick is a significant one, numbering over 4,000 specimens. Once more combining the information gleaned from the Archive with cataloguing activities will allow us to better understand and appreciate aspects of the Sedgwick Museum’s historic and World-class collections.
Trilobite – Museum News
Exhibition News 2012 is an exciting year for the Sedgwick Museum as we will be holding several temporary and semi-permanent displays and exhibitions, along with lots of small redevelopments in the galleries. In an environmentally conscious move, the museum’s old metal-halide table case lights will be replaced by new eco-friendly LED lighting early in the year. The new lighting will enhance the museum experience for our visitors, improving the illumination of the cases and specimens whilst reducing the amount of noise and heat produced by the current lighting system. The Whitby plesiosaur case will be getting refreshed, the case surround will be extended and the base will be repainted. A new interpretive panel with up-to-date artwork will follow in 2013. At the end of March the museum will be opening a small long-term temporary exhibition being put together by the museum’s archivist, Sandra Marsh. The exhibition aims to give visitors a sample of the types of historical treasures which have been hidden in the archives, and also an insight into Sandra’s work behind-the-scenes reorganising and researching the material. To coincide with the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games this summer, the Sedgwick Museum will be hosting a temporary exhibition in partnership with Cambridgeshire Competes. The partnership, formed from many museums and sports centres around the county, aims to highlight the various links Cambridgeshire has with the games. The Sedgwick Museum’s contribution will be unique, exploring the use of raw minerals and their properties in performance sporting equipment. The exhibition will focus particularly on their use in the Paralympics, where the minerals are manufactured to produce highly specialised equipment, such as a runner’s prosthetic leg, to help disabled athletes to compete at the highest level. Also planned for 2012 is the promotion of the research work taking place in the University’s Department of Earth Sciences. The first exhibition will be based on research being carried out by Dr Tom Harvey on 500 million year old microfossils from the Cambrian Burgess Shale of Canada, expect to see dramatic pictures of the tiniest of fossils! By Rob Theodore - Collections Assistant, Documentation and Display.
Trilobite – Museum News
Friends’ Booking Form Please copy this, as necessary, to make bookings for particular Friends events. Please make out all cheques to “Friends of the Sedgwick Museum”, and send them to the registrar for the event. Adam Sedgwick Anniversary Dinner (21 March) Please register and pay by 9 March, sending your cheque, as above, to “Janet Herdman, Department of Mineral Sciences and Metallurgy, Pembroke St., Cambridge CB2 3QZ” E-mail queries to email@example.com £44 with wines, £36 with soft drinks Name:
Visit to North-East Norfolk Coast (5 May) Please register by 21 April, sending your cheque, as above, to “Susie Sinclair, 2 Champneys Walk, Cambridge, CB3 9AW”. E-mail queries to firstname.lastname@example.org £10 bus deposit, £10 optional fish and chips Name:
Visit to Marston Vale, Bedfordshire (19 May) Please register by 5 May, sending your cheque, as above to “Peter and Carol Franklin, 273 Wellbrook Way, Girton, Cambridge CB22 0GL. E-mail queries to email@example.com £10 bus deposit Name:
Weekend Visit to Scottish East-Coast Borderland (15-17 June) Please register by 31 March, sending your cheque, as above to “Margaret Sanderson, 157 High St., Chesterton, Cambridge, CB4 1NL. E-mail queries to firstname.lastname@example.org £30 deposit Name: