10 Uchaf yr Adar
Shwmae gyfeillion y gwanwyn!
Canlyniadau Big Garden Birdwatch
Beth yw’r 10 aderyn mwyaf cyffredin yn eich gardd chi? Cyfrannodd bron i hanner miliwn o bobl at Big Garden Birdwatch 2014 yr RSPB (y Gymdeithas Frenhinol er Gwarchod Adar). Dyma nhw’n cyfri dros 7 miliwn o adar! Wnaethoch chi helpu? Os na, beth am ddechrau eleni er mwyn gallu helpu y flwyddyn nesaf? I weld y 10 aderyn mwyaf cyffredin, dilynwch y ddolen hon.
Pa ysgolion sydd wedi gweld eu blodau cyntaf?
Mae Trellech Primary School yng Nghymru, ac Britannia Community Primary School yn Lloegr i gyd wedi anfon eu cofnodion blodau cyntaf. Da iawn a diolch yn fawr i’r ysgolion yma!
Dyma un o fy nghydweithwyr yng Nghaerdydd yn dangos y ffotograff yma i fi o gennin Pedr yn ei gardd. Allwch chi weld rhywbeth rhyfedd am y blodau? Mae’r llun ychydig yn aneglur ond wrth edrych yn ofalus gallwch chi weld bod gan rai o’r coesynnau ddau neu dri o flodau! Rhyfedd iawn. Ydych chi wedi gweld unrhyw blanhigion anarferol?
Diolch i Ysgol Gynradd SS Philip a James yr Eglwys yn Lloegr am anfon y ffotograff hwn o’u holl flodau hyfryd. Yn y trydydd ffotograff gallwch chi weld eu bod nhw hefyd wedi gweld blodau anarferol – wnaeth rhai o’r cennin Pedr ddim agor yn llawn. Mae hyn yn ddiddorol iawn, alwch chi feddwl am unrhyw reswm pam na fyddai’r blodau yn agor? Wnaeth hyn ddigwydd i’ch blodau chi?
Cot Cennin Pedr!
Ydych chi am weld llun doniol o ddyn yn gwisgo cennin Pedr? Dyma chi! James yw ei enw ac mae’n gwisgo siwt wedi’i gwneud o gennin Pedr i godi arian at elusen. Da iawn James!
Your comments, my answers:
Prof P: I had lots and lots of comments from Dallas Road Community Primary School so I thought I would put them all on the blog this week, thank-you all for sending me your messages! Congratulations to all of you, even if your flower did not grow, was stepped on, got broken or died, you are ALL Super Scientists! Prof P.
Dallas Road Community Primary School:
I think it didn't open because the daffodil was hovering over it and so it didn't get enough sun and rain. :(
I think my daffodil was in the shade so it did not open.
Someone cut its head off
It didn't open because somebody stepped on it
Someone broke the bud off
Mine did not open!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My Bulb disappeared
It was a bit floppy so we did not get chance to tie it up. But it is still open.
I am quiet sad my daffodils have not opened but they are growing so I will believe that soon they will and they are really tall.
My daffodil is growing very tall but it is a bit floppy.
My crocus is beautiful some of them are starting to die but still i'm happy because some are still growing and some have opened and some of them are fully beautiful i'm really happy about every crocus. My crocus's are quiet tall some are small as well
my crocus is really beautiful i have got another 3-4 crocuses opening i really enjoy seeing my plant grow.
My crocus has flowered well and is growing quite tall which is good and happy about it all.
I did not get a daffodil so it did not grow.
Daffodil has broke and I had to tie it up.
My plant head fell off. I haven't seen it since so I don't know if it has grown back.
My daffodil didnt open. I dont think mine had enough sunlight
Prof P: Culross Primary School sent me messages to tell me they had named their flowers, thanks Culross! Here are some of the names they gave their Daffodils and Crocuses: Danny, Dafty, Crocy, Abby, Croaky, Dave, Chris, Cassy, Ceeper, Bob, Jim.
Diolch yn fawr
On fieldwork in County Mayo
Six members of Natural Sciences staff are currently on fieldwork in Co. Mayo, Ireland. After attending the 2 day Porcupine Marine Natural History Conference at the Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway they set off for Co. Mayo for 5 days of intertidal fieldwork. Their primary interests are in marine bristle worms (polychaetes), bivalve shells (molluscs) and seaweed.
After setting up a temporary laboratory the scientific team have spent the last two days visiting several shores in Clew Bay and Blacksod Bay — following in the footsteps of those who carried out the historic 'Clare Island Survey' in the early 1900s. Samples are being processed for both morphological and DNA work contributing to the Museum's collections and research programme. Many live animals and algae are being photographed. Today the team is setting off to Corraun, near Achill Island, north Clew Bay. They will be joined by Fiona Crouch of the Marine Biological Association UK, who has been extending her 'Shore Thing' community science programme to Ireland (as ShorTIE).
Further updates to come, but for up-to-date news follow us at https://twitter.com/CardiffCurator
Y Dyddiad Cau!
Mae dyddiad cau Bylbiau’r Gwanwyn wedi cyrraedd! Diolch yn fawr IAWN i chi gyd am gasglu eich cofnodion tywydd a blodau a’u hanfon ata i mewn pryd.
Pa ysgolion sydd wedi gweld eu blodau cyntaf?
Mae Balcurvie Primary School, Chatelherault Primary School, Glencairn PrimarySchool, St. Blanes Primary School, St. Patrick's Primary School, Tynewater Primary School ac Wormit Primary School yn yr Alban, ac Brynhyfryd Junior School, Cleddau Reach VC Primary School,Coed-y-Lan Primary, St Athan Primary,St Mellons Church in Wales Primary School, Ysgol Bro Eirwg, Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn ac Ysgol Y Plas yng Nghymru i gyd wedi gweld eu blodau cyntaf. Yn Lloegr, mae ysgolion Bleasdale CE Primary School, Combe Primary School, Cutteslowe Primary School ac Flakefleet Primary School i gyd wedi anfon eu cofnodion blodau cyntaf. Da iawn a diolch yn fawr i’r ysgolion yma!
Daliwch ati i anfon eich cofnodion blodau!
Fel y dwedais i yn y blog diwethaf, os oes blodau ar eich planhigion ond eu bod nhw heb agor eto, daliwch ati i wylio ac anfonwch eich cofnodion pan fyddan nhw’n agor. Fyddan nhw ddim mewn pryd i gael eu cynnwys yn Adroddiad Bylbiau’r Gwanwyn eleni, ond byddan nhw’n gwneud adroddiad y flwyddyn nesaf yn fwy cywir.
Planhigion heb flodeuo?
Diolch i bob disgybl anfonodd gofnodion yn dweud fod eu planhigion heb flodeuo, neu’r blodau heb agor (gwnewch hyn drwy glicio ‘Heb agor’ yn y Cofnod Blodau). Mae’n gallu bod yn deimlad siomedig os nad yw’r planhigion y blodeuo, ond peidiwch â phoeni! Un o’r gwersi pwysig fyddwn ni’n dysgu fel Gwyddonwyr Gwych yw na fydd pob arbrawf yn rhoi’r canlyniad oedden ni’n ei ddisgwyl. Ond nid yw’r arbrawf yn fethiant. Mae cofnodi pan fydd rhywbeth ddim yn digwydd YR UN MOR BWYSIG i wyddonydd â chofnodi pan fydd rhywbeth yn digwydd.
Does dim ots os agorodd eich blodyn neu beidio, os weithioch chi’n galed a helpu gydag Ymchwiliad Bylbiau’r Gwanwyn, byddwch chi’n derbyn tystysgrif a phensel Gwyddonydd Gwych!
Gweirglodd blodau gwyllt Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd
Yma yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd rydyn ni’n arbrofi wrth dyfu gweirglodd blodau gwyllt. Oes gweirglodd blodau gwyllt yn eich ysgol chi? Rydyn ni wedi plannu rhai hadau a bylbiau a’r blodau cyntaf i ymddangos yw’r crocysau a’r cennin Pedr! Dyma ffotograff ohonyn nhw. Dyw e ddim yn edrych yn debyg iawn i weirglodd eto, ond gobeithio y bydd e’n llawn blodau erbyn yr haf. Yn y cylch mwdlyd, rydyn ni wedi plannu llawer o babïau coch i gofio’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf. Eleni rydyn ni’n cofio 100 mlynedd ers dechrau’r Rhyfel a byddwn ni’n cynnal digwyddiadau ac arddangosfeydd yn Amgueddfa Cymru i adrodd hanes pobl Cymru yn ystod y Rhyfel. Cliciwch yma i ddysgu mwy.
Eich cwestiynau, fy atebion:
Dallas Road Community Primary School: Hi Proffeser Plant!! Prof P: Hi everyone at Dallas Road!
Pinfold Primary School: nearly all the bulbs have opened. The mystery bulbs are blooming very well. The crocus is growing purple flowers. Prof P: What were your mystery bulbs Pinfold?
Glyncollen Primary School: Hello Professor Plant, We're excited because our bulbs have now sprung and we can't wait to get our certificates. From, Year 4. Prof P: Congratulations Year 4! I look forward to sending them to you, you are Super Scientists!
Ysgol Terrig: Our Bulbs have opened and they are 15cm tall :). Prof P: Great measuring Ysgol Terrig.
Rougemont Junior School: What a warm a dry week Professor Plant, our crocuses are all blooming as are our daffodils. Prof P: All the colours look so lovely don’t they?
St. Ignatius Primary School: We have uploaded our weather records for this week but unfortunately our bulbs have not flowered just yet. We are disappointed as this is the last week and we can see them coming along but not as quick as we would have hoped. We will continue to keep an eye on them and let you know when they have flowered. Our teacher will need to do this next week as P7 are off to Kilbowie in Oban for an outward bound trip. Prof P: Please don’t be disappointed P7, your results are still really important, even if your flowers didn’t open by the deadline. Enjoy your trip it sounds like fun!
Kilmaron Special School: We are using the findings of our daily temperature readings and rainfall as evidence in our SQA National 1 Measurement unit. Prof P: That is fantastic Kilmaron, I am so glad it is helping you with your qualification.
Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Thank you very much we really enjoyed it and are datherdils are blooming and are very healthy and strong through all of these conditions. Stanford in the vale gardening club. Prof P: I am so glad you enjoyed it Stanford, that makes me very happy!
St. Blanes Primary School: Hi Professor Plant, the start of the week felt much warmer. It's the first time we saw the temperature in double figures! Prof P: I hope you enjoyed the warm weather.
Gladestry C.I.W. School: it has grown well i'm a mum. Prof P: Congratulations! You must have looked after your baby bulb very well.
Chatelherault Primary School: Some of our plants are starting to bloom the daffodils are showing the most. The crocuses are still growing but not as much as the daffodils. Prof P: That is very interesting as crocuses usually flower before daffodils.
Ysgol Gynradd Cross Hands: Dyma ein blodyn cyntaf gan LM o Ysgol Gynradd Cross Hands. Mwy o haul plis!Prof P: Llongyfarchiadau LM o Ysgol Gynradd Cross Hands!
The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: my plant is just the same as the plant I got at my home it has grown twenty cm. Prof P: It’s wonderful to hear that you are growing flowers at home too, well done!
Diolch yn fawr
A Window into the Industry Collections
Amongst this month’s new additions to the collections we have received 16 very interesting share certificates. The Museum holds by far the largest and wide-ranging Welsh-interest share certificate collection held by any public museum, library or archive. The collection ranges across railway and maritime transport, coal mining, the mining and smelting of metals, general industry, and service industries (finance, leisure, consumer products, etc). We seek to consolidate and expand whenever appropriate material is offered.
The Royal Copper Mines of Cobre company was founded in 1835 by predominantly Swansea and Llanelli copper smelting interests who, recognising the rapidly growing importance of Cuban ore to Welsh smelting works, sought to see the mines both worked much more efficiently and on a larger scale as well as under their control rather than under inefficient Spanish colonial direction. These certificates are a rare example of tangible objects reflecting the international reach of globally pre-eminent Welsh copper smelting industry. The two strongest international connections of the industry were with Cuba and Chile, with Cuban connections being especially intimate at Swansea.
This Mynyddbach-y-Glo Colliery Company Limited share certificate dates from 1924. The company was registered 1924. It operated the colliery from 1924 to May 1926 when it when into voluntary liquidation, seemingly an early casualty of the miners’ strike which continued after the end of the General Strike. Winding up was completed in 1927. The colliery comprised a small slant located at Waunarlwydd on the western outskirts of Swansea.
This Pontypridd Gas Light and Coke Company share certificate dates from 1852. The company was registered in 1850, and was later purchased by Pontypridd Local Board of Health under the terms of the Pontypridd Local Board (Gas) Act 1893. The Local Board became an Urban District Council in 1907 and the latter authority transferred the gas undertaking to the Wales Gas Board following the passing of the Gas Nationalisation Act 1948. Pontypridd was only the fifth Welsh town to be lit with gas, its Act creating its gas company being early by Welsh standards. At the centre is an interesting vignette of the gas works in front of the Pontypridd’s famous bridge. The bridge was built by William Edwards in 1756.
One donation this month included two commemorative ties that can be seen here. Trelewis drift mine was opened in 1954 and was adjacent to Taff Merthyr colliery. One of the ties show here commemorates 25 Years of its opening. Production ceased soon after this tie was made in 1991. The other tie commemorates 73 years of Markham Colliery which was opened in 1912. The tie was produced in 1985 during the miners’ strike. Markham colliery was to close the following year.
As well as the ties we were also donated two tobacco or twist boxes. These were used by miners to store their ‘twist’ (chewing tobacco). They were generally made of brass and usually oval in shape, although we have many examples of different materials and shaped tins in our collection. They are usually stamped with the miners name, address or colliery, and also often a date.
Of the two boxes illustrated here one is oval (with the date 1985 stamped underneath) and the other rectangular and in the shape of a book, with a simple combination locking mechanism underneath.
One final new accession this month is very poignant as last year we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Sengehydd disaster in which 440 miners lost their lives in the worst mining disaster in Britain. This horse’s hoof mounted in silverplate was given to Reginald Mortimer of Standard Colliery, Ynyshir for his work with colliery horses during the disaster. It is inscribed "KILDARE" / 1ST HORSE FROM THE / SENGHENYDD / EXPLOSION. OCT. 14. 1913.
Curatorial Assistant (Industry)
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The Peregrines are back
The Peregrines are back on the City Hall Clock Tower. One bird seems to be spending most of the day hidden in the recesses of the nest (on the right hand side of the ledge underneath the clock face), suggesting that she may have started incubating eggs. This would imply a laying date a little earlier than we have seen in previous years. However, we are aware of another local pair of peregrines that are incubating eggs, so perhaps it is an early season this year. Museum Curator Adrian Plant has taken over the duties of the Peregrine Web-cam, and will be keeping an eye on them for us.
We will keep you posted on what happens.
Exploring Biodiversity in the Amazon
Adrian Plant (Principle Curator of Entomology) is about to set off on a trip exploring biodiversity in the Brazilian Amazon. This will be the second of three planned trips hosted by the premier Amazon research institute - Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA) based in Manaus and funded by Brazil’s Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico. Adrian has been collaborating with fellow Diptera (fly) specialist Dr José Albertino Rafael and PhD student Josenir Camara in understanding more about Amazonian species of an aquatic fly genus called Hemerodromia. The project intends to describe all of the many new species of this group of flies found in the Amazon Basin and will look at their evolutionary relationships with other related forms around the world. It is anticipated that the researchers will be able to learn much about the reasons why certain insects occur where they do by relating the findings to ecological, biogeographical and climatic data. The team will be in the field for one month, surveying areas in the central Amazon around Manaus and also some of the upper tributaries of the river in Ecuador. Following completion of this phase of the Project, Josenir will spend six months based in Cardiff using the Museum’s extensive collections to help advance her work.
Dr Adrian Plant
Mae blodau Athro’r Ardd wedi agor!
Dwi wedi cyffroi yn lân! Mae fy mlodau i wedi agor o’r diwedd, ac mae nhw mor brydferth alla i ddim peidio gwenu wrth edrych arnyn nhw. Blodeuodd y crocws ar 16 Mawrth ac roedd e’n 90mm o daldra. Blodeuodd y cennin Pedr y diwrnod wedyn ac roedd e’n 240mm o daldra. Dyma ffotograff o’r ddau.
Diolch yn fawr i Glwb Garddio Stanford o Ysgol Gynradd Stanford in the Vale CE yn Lloegr am eu ffotograff o’u cennin Pedr cyntaf! Oes unrhyw un arall am anfon ffotograffau o’u planhigion ata i, i fi gael eu rhoi nhw ar y wefan hefyd?
Pa ysgolion sydd wedi gweld eu blodau cyntaf yn agor?
Mae Abronhill Primary School, Culross Primary School, ac Glencairn Primary School yn yr Alban, ac Christchurch CP School, Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Gladestry C.I.W. School, Rogiet Primary School, Ysgol Clocaenog, Ysgol Gynradd Cross Hands, Ysgol Deganwy ac Ysgol Santes Tudfulyng Nghymru i gyd wedi gweld eu blodau cyntaf. Yn Lloegr, mae ysgolion Arkholme CE Primary School, Burscough Bridge Methodist School, Coppull Parish Primary School, Hillside Specialist School, John Cross CE Primary School, Pinfold Primary School, Scotforth St. Paul's CE Primary School, SS Philip and James CE Primary School, St Laurence CE Primary School ac Woodplumpton St. Anne's Primary School i gyd wedi anfon eu cofnodion blodau cyntaf. Llongyfarchiadau i chi gyd!
Un wythnos ar ôl…
Dim ond un wythnos sydd ar ôl tan ddyddiad cau project Bylbiau’r Gwanwyn. Cofiwch anfon eich cofnodion ata i erbyn 28 Mawrth.
Beth i wneud os nad yw’r blodau wedi agor erbyn y dyddiad cau?
Daliwch ati i anfon eich data blodau! Os nag yw eich blodau wedi agor, mae croeso i chi barhau â’r ymchwiliad. Pan fydd y planhigion yn blodeuo byddwch chi’n dal i allu cofnodi y dyddiad a’r uchder ar ein gwefan.
Y rheswm am y dyddiad cau yw fy mod i’n ysgrifennu adroddiad arbennig bob blwyddyn yn crynhoi yr holl ddata fyddwch chi’n ei anfon. Rhaid i fi ysgrifennu’r adroddiad ym mis Ebrill. Bydd cofnodion fydd yn cyrraedd cyn y dyddiad cau yn cael eu cynnwys yn yr adroddiad eleni. Bydd cofnodion fydd yn cyrraedd ar ôl y dyddiad cau yn cael eu hychwanegu at y bas data ac yn cael eu cynnwys yn adroddiad y flwyddyn nesaf.
Mae eich cofnodion i gyd yn bwysig iawn. Rwy’n addo y bydd eich data i gyd yn cael ei gynnwys yn y project ac yn helpu i wneud yr ymchwiliad yn fwy cywir yn y dyfodol.
Ydych chi wedi gweld unrhyw arwyddion o’r gwanwyn wrth chwarae? Fe welais i gacynen flewog dros y penwythnos, buwch goch gota ac ŵyn bach! Dyma fi’n edrych mewn llyn ond welais i ddim grifft llyffaint. Ydych chi wedi gweld grifft llyffaint neu unrhyw arwyddion eraill o’r gwanwyn?
Hoffech chi fod yn Dditectif Natur? Mae Coed Cadw wedi paratoi gweithgareddau gwych y gwanwyn ar eich cyfer chi. Dysgwch sut i adnabod arwyddion cyntaf y gwanwyn yma ac am ragor o syniadau gwych y gwanwyn cliciwch yma.
Eich cwestiynau, fy atebion:
Ysgol Bro Eirwg: Roedd y mesurudd glaw yn llawn ar ddydd Llun gan ei fod wedi casglu'r holl law dros hanner tymor. Rydym ni yn gyffrous iawn bod rhai o'r bylbiau wedi dechrau agor. Rydym wedi sylwi bo'r bylbiau sy'n agor yn hwyrach llawer yn llai, oes rheswm am hyn? Athro’r Ardd: Rydw i’n falch iawn bod eich blodau chi yn agor Ysgol Bro Eirwg! Da iawn chi am arsylwi mor ofalus ar y planhigion a gofyn cwestiwn gwyddonol gwych. Yr ateb yw… dwi ddim yn siŵr!! Efallai bod rhai o’r bylbiau yn llai na’r lleill wrth gael eu plannu. Gallai hyn olygu eu bod nhw’n cymryd mwy o amser i flodeuo a’u bod nhw’n llai o faint. Oes gennych chi unrhyw syniadau i’w esbonio? Sut fyddech chi’n profi eich syniadau wrth dyfu rhagor o blanhigion y flwyddyn nesaf?
Raglan VC Primary: Our flowers are blooming now! The shoots are 85 cm tall! Prof P: Do you mean 85mm tall Raglan? An 85cm tall flower would be HUGE!
Glencairn Primary School: It was very foggy on Thursday night and Friday morning! Prof P: Great weather reporting. I love fog, it’s quite spooky isn’t it?
Hillside Specialist School: Our first flower opened. By K. Prof P: Well done K and everyone else at Hillside School.
Greyfriars RC Primary School: It was fun me and R. really enjoyed it. Prof P: Hooray!
SS Philip and James CE Primary: A lot of our crocus flowers had come out over the holidays! Prof P: Fantastic! A lot of people’s flowers opened during the holidays.
Pinfold Primary School: Mystery bulbs started opening on Monday. We think they're daffodils. Other bulbs are growing very well. Prof P: Great news Pinfold.
Ysgol Terrig: our bulbs are growing great they are now 7cm tall !!!!! Prof P: Fantastic news Ysgol Terrig!
Chatelherault Primary School: During the week it has been sunny and because of this our plants has started to blossom although the flowers are still closed. We have had a lot of spiders in our pots. Prof P: Oooh, how cool! I love spiders! Their webs are so beautiful and the way they make them is so clever.
Culross Primary School: We have been very busy in P5-7 recently with trips to Scottish Parliament and also the Foodbank with a collection we organised. Sorry for the lack of records for Tuesday and Thursday! Matt is the name of my daffodil and he was the first one to flower here at Culross PS. It has been quite warm here at Culross and we haven't had any snow, so the daffodils are now beginning to grow. O's crocus is called Coco and measures 50mm. Her’s is the first crocus to flower here at Culross. Well done to O.! Prof P: Wow you sound like you have had some really interesting school trips Culross Primary. Well done for collecting for the Foodbank. I love the names you have given to your plants!
Darran Park Primary: The first crocuses flowered on the 7th of march. Their colour is purple\violet. The bees have already started collecting the pollen and they are 6 cm tall. Some of the other crocus bulbs have only just started to sprout through the soil. Prof P: Great observations Darran Park, I like your description of the crocuses as purple/violet.
Arkholme CE Primary School: Sun shining at last it is doing the flowers a world of good they have come out to see it!!! Prof P: It is doing me the world of good too Arkholme!
Diolch yn fawr
'A day in the life' - a post for the Twitter event 'Museum Week UK'
I begin my day by checking our general library inbox for any inquiries that we might have received over the weekend. This morning [as usual] there were quite a few but they were mercifully straight forward so didn’t take too long to answer. Next, I spent a very enjoyable hour squirreling away through our old photograph drawers for some interesting images to share with everyone during this Museum Week UK on Twitter and what treasures I have found [but more of that to come via Tweets from @amgueddfa_lib during the week]!
Vintage albums and photographs
Main Library photograph drawers
I also took some photographs of the pages of a giant old scrap book full of museum ephemera; it contains tickets, pamphlets, public announcement posters, order of services, lists of lectures and just about anything else you can stick down with heavy duty glue and sellotape…
However, my day begins in earnest with the post – as Assistant Librarian one of my main priorities is to manage the journal subscriptions. We maintain around 700 titles, a combination of paid subscriptions, exchanges and gifts. Therefore, after our Administration Assistant has opened and checked it, I weed out all the journals and record them onto our database. By doing this I am alerted to previous issues not received and will then chase them up with relevant suppliers. This time, there are no missing issues to chase but we have received a few duplicates, and [as always] these are from suppliers who categorically promised that no further duplicates would be sent out! Next, I count and measure the post so that at the end of the year I am able to supply our Principle Librarian with the total number of actual issues received and the meterage of space they will have covered. For instance, our statistics for 2013 were 1972 issues received that covered just over 11 metres of shelf space.
Next, I date stamp and separate them into departments. Our subscriptions naturally correspond with the curatorial departments, so we receive journals on the following disciplines: Art, Archaeology, Zoology, Botany, Geology and Industry and we also subscribe to more general subjects kept here in the Main Library. Once all this is done, it’s time to go and shelve them in the departmental libraries. These are dotted all around the museum so I wait until I have a little pile, normally a few days’ worth, before I go on my shelving travels.
My next task is to work through any invoices received in the post and this morning there quite a few. The way I process these has changed recently and whereas it has taken a little time to get used to the new system, it is much more straightforward and done in no time at all.
Walking into town for lunch, looking back over my shoulder...
After lunch, it’s all about the special collections! I begin by photographing books for a new post on the Museum Blog; I have been posting articles for some time now and really enjoy it. This next post I’m working on concerns books with “marginalia” and we have some excellent examples so here is a little sneak peak…
Cambria Depicta: a tour of North Wales by Edward Pugh 
Instructions for collecting and preserving insects; particularly moths and butterflies by William Curtis 
The last few hours of the afternoon are spent working on a talk I will be giving in April as part of the Museum’s Behind the scenes series where the curatorial departments allow groups of visitors in to show them what goes on behind the scenes. My working title is “Curios” and the talk will be based on a small selection of our more unique items, such as fore-edge books, annotated books, and books made from unusual materials and bindings!
On my way out I leave via the art galleries, it does take a little longer to get out going this way but it gives me the chance to browse and see what's on display and today there were two things in particular I wished to see. First, the new exhibition Wales Visitation: Poetry, Romance and Myth in Art which includes works by David Jones, Graham Sutherland and Richard Long. And also the new Constable painting [currently on loan from the Tate]; Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows is a stunning work and I particularly like the dark storm clouds brooding behind the rainbow.
A selection of books on WWI all ready for the 1914-2014 Centenary
This post has been produced as part of the Twitter event #Museum Week UK [24-30 March 2014]
All photographs in this post taken by the author
National Science and Engineering Week
Yesterday, Natural Sciences Staff took part in the 'Meet the Pollinators' Event run by First Campus, a partnership between higher education institutions, further education colleges and schools in South East Wales. The event was part of National Science and Engineering Week and was attended by approximately 100 Year 9 pupils from six schools. The pupils had the opportunity to speak to the curators and find out about 'a day in the life of museum scientists'.
Twin Peaks Blog Update
There are two sides to exploring biodiversity. One is fieldwork, often in interesting and remote places looking for new or otherwise interesting forms of life. As an entomologist with an interest in tropical flies this often means extended trips under challenging conditions armed with a net, various kinds of insect trap, a pair of binoculars and a notebook. We know so little about tropical insects that discovery of new species is a daily occurrence and almost everything encountered is interesting for one reason or another. Unfortunately, identification of most insects in the field is quite impossible, let alone proper recognition of new species. This is where the second and perhaps less glamorous part of exploring biodiversity comes in involving long hours of study back in the laboratory when the true identity of captures may be revealed and their significance evaluated. My ongoing collaboration with Wichai Srisuka as the Entomology Section of Queen Sirikit Garden in Thailand (http://www.qsbginsects.org/) is starting to provide thousands of specimens for study. Wichai and his staff have been running a type of trap known as a Malaise trap to sample insects on the forested slopes of two of Thailand’s highest mountains, Doi Inthanon and Doi Phahompok. Specimens they have collected have been sent to me in Cardiff where I am beginning the process of ‘working up’ the samples. This involves first sorting the specimens into groups (or families and genera as systematists call higher groupings of species). Insect diversity is so great that no one person can be an expert in all of them. For this reason, many of the sorted samples are sent to collaborating colleagues around the world who are specialists in the groups concerned. I retain the rest for my own specialist studies.
Thereafter each specialist concentrates on identifying species that are already known and describing as new to science those that are not. The work does not stop there as once we have data on actual species and where they are found it can be interpreted to tell us more of, for example, the evolutionary history of a group of insects, their ecology or their biogeography (the study of how species and ecosystems are distributed geographically and historically). Furthermore, the results are of profound interest to conservation planners as they enable important areas of biodiversity to be recognised. As the work progresses I hope to feed back some of the more interesting finds through this blog.
by Adrian Plant