My name is Paolo Viscardi. I’m a natural history curator at the Horniman Museum in London, responsible for the fossil and bone collections. What a curator actually does is hard to define – the role has changed a lot over the years as museum jobs have become more specialised. Curators (particularly in natural history) were once responsible for collecting, identifying, documenting and maintaining specimens, as well as putting them on display and carrying out research.
Although curators are still involved in many of these roles, much of the work involved has been taken on by conservation, documentation, collections management and exhibitions staff. Now curators are mainly involved in enabling intellectual access to collections – we research specimens and communicate the information they contain through publications, exhibitions and online resources. We also foster partnerships to further wider goals and we are keen to encourage others to use the collections. Part of what we do is also to focus on developing the collections by collecting new material and identifying which of the older material may be suitable for disposal.
As far as I am concerned this is the greatest job in the world. I enjoy the excitement of working with diverse collections from all over the world and spanning hundreds of millions of years. There is some amazing stuff in our world and I’m lucky enough to see quite a lot of it on a day to day basis – some of which I enjoy sharing with you here on this blog.
It must be said that this is my personal blog and the views expressed here are not those of the Horniman Museum, they are mine and solely mine.
I frequently write posts touching on alternative therapies and fundamentalist beliefs, since these are without exception founded on flawed premises and misinterpretation of observations. While I disagree with such belief based cultural anachronisms and fads, it should be noted that I fully respect every individual’s right to their beliefs, although I do not necessarily respect the beliefs that are held by every individual. After all, some beliefs are downright unpleasant, uninformed or just plain stupid.
Thanks for taking an interest.