Viegas & Benton, 2014: A CONSERVATION AND PREPARATION OVERVIEW
Microvertebrate specimens were packed using a
The macro- and micro-collections from the BDP
newly developed micro-storage system, where
are housed in the central storage room of the
two layers of 3 mm LD15 would "sandwich" a
Geology Department (now, School of Earth
single microfossil housed in a circular, 2 cm
Sciences) collection, under BRSUG numbers.
diameter, Styron box. These boxes would then
The catalog is currently available from the
fit into larger square Styron boxes which house
curator as an orderly Excel spread sheet, easily
18 of the smaller circular boxes at a time,
searchable
and
with
unique
registration
creating a simple, space saving, very secure
numbers, also keyed to the drawers, for rapid
system to house microfossils (Figure 11); the
retrieval. The catalog information will shortly be
production of this system is described in
made available on the online BRSUG Museum
greater detail in Viegas and Clapham (2012).
web site (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/earthscien
During the specimen packing process, with
ces/about/facilities/museum.html
).
dozens of students and volunteers, huge
numbers of scalpel blades were used to cut the
Plastazote; a vast amount of blades were
THE RESULT
necessary during this process as were equal
amounts of paper for risk assessments. Cutting
After 3.5 years of the Heritage Lottery Fund
mats, metal rulers and non-permanent pens
project (2010-2013), the University now has a
are all necessary for the custom foam cutting
new, fully equipped, preparation laboratory.
process ­ permanent pens should be avoided
Two new research collections were created, and
as they can leave a difficult to remove mark on
both are fully curated, with thousands of
the specimen by ink transfer from the foamīs
specimens identified, packed, cataloged
and
micro-pores.
put on to new databases. A microfossil
collection was also created, with already
B-72 in consolidant or glue dilution was used
prepared, acid digested residue ready to be
during preparation and curation work, while
picked on future research projects. A hand-
Evo-stik contact adhesive was used to glue
sized sample of each type of rock prepared
layers of B15 and B45 together when a thicker
during the project was kept as a reference and
padding was necessary. When using contact
making them available for future research if
adhesives, it is imperative that glued layers are
necessary.
left to dry outside plastic boxes and without
The collection changed considerably since we
specimens inside - good air ventilation and/or
first started, and the differences are easily
adequate PPE are necessary while working with
seen, with a transition from dusty, water and
it. Water-based contact adhesives are available
pest damaged carton boxes, filled with broken,
nowadays and are better to work with in health
mixed, loose bones to a fully packed, well-
and safety terms, but bonds tend not to be as
padded, cataloged fossil collection (Figure 14).
strong and glues are less available and more
expensive than solvent-based ones.
Four larger blocks were left almost without
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
reduction, because we wanted to retain a few
rock samples in the collection and these were
the only ones that had a big bone association,
We thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for
rare on these Triassic fissure fills mostly caused
financing this project. A big thank you also to
by high energy events. These blocks had the
the various colleagues with whom we worked
visible bones prepared to a certain extent,
during the project and a special thank you to
about 30 to 60%, making them identifiable to
all the students and volunteers who worked
researchers, but keeping them in their
with us in the laboratory ­ without you we
protective natural encasing. These blocks were
would have never come this far! We also thank
placed in large plastic containers with their
the
journal
referees
for
very
valuable
collection identification numbers.
suggestions to improve the MS.
REFERENCES CITED
Benton, M.J. 2012. Naming the Bristol
Benton, M.J., L. Juul, G.W. Storrs, and P.
dinosaur, Thecodontosaurus: politics and
M.
Galton.
2000.
Anatomy
and
science in the 1830s. Proceedings of the
systematics of the prosauropod dinosaur
Geologists'
Association 123:
766-778
Thecodontosaurus
antiquus from
the
63
Journal of Paleontological Techniques