Do you know, less than 1% of Museum's collections are on display?
That's fairly typical of museums with large natural history and cultural heritage collections - the collections are used for a myriad of purposes beyond display - research, loans to other organisations, community programs and so on. However, for a long time, we have wanted to make more of our collections accessible to the public. We now have a new facility to help us do that.
This is "The Project Space", on our ground floor, which consists of two very large display cases (which are absolutely beautiful if you are a connoisseur of nice display cases btw). Each one is six metres long and two and a half metres high, so they can hold a huge range of objects - large and small. And as you can imagine, we are having a great deal of fun thinking about what we could put in there.
First up, we remembered how much visitors enjoyed seeing the exotic taxidermy we brought out during our year of biodiversity project 'Alive' in 2010. The big cats, especially, seemed to capture peoples' imagination. So for the school holidays this summer, we have more big cats to show you. There are all historical specimens - dating back to 1890, when we acquired exotic specimens by purchase or exchange with other museums. Nowadays, our collection is much more tightly focussed on Australia and the Pacific.
And it is the Pacific that links the second project, which we'll tell you much more about in February - when we put up 'Spirit Faces' a dramatic group of masks from across the Pacific. Our conservation department are working on them now.
We'd love to know if there are any objects, specimens or collections from our vaults that you would love to see us put into the Project Space. Please let us know via the comments here, or through our Facebook Page if there's anything you're desperate to see, and we'll add it to the mix!