Journal Article

  • Secrets of Designation unlocked: the Tullie House natural science collection and a window into Cumbrian biodiversity
    Jackson, S.
    Journal of Natural Science Collections, Volume 7, pages 24 - 33

    In 2018, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery was awarded Arts Council England’s Designated status for its natural science collection, recognising the outstanding quality of the collection to support research and understanding into Cumbrian biodiversity and geodiversity. Arts Council England’s Designation Scheme identifies the pre-eminent collections of national and international importance held in England’s non-national museums, libraries and archives, based on their quality and significance. This mark of distinction is a key to unlock the research “secrets” and potential of collections, through raising their status and through access to Arts Council funding programmes to develop them and to make them more accessible to researchers and the public. Understanding the content of our collections and their significance is also vital to public engagement. In this paper, the author explores the successful aspects of the Tullie House application, focusing on the collection and how it met the specific Designation criteria. The application focused on voucher specimens, centring on those which are most historically and scientifically important, and which provide key insights into Cumbrian biodiversity and wider UK ecology.

    Keywords: Designation, Cumbria, Tullie House, biodiversity, geodiversity, collection