The Friends of Ludlow Museum support the initiatives for widening access to the collections and has been instrumental in securing a substantial grant awarded in 2016 for the digitisation of the geological collections. This is known by the acronym "FISH": Fossils In SHropshire, although the work will extend beyond fish, indeed beyond fossils, to embrace the whole of the geology collection.
The work has commenced with a review of the entire geological holdings held by the Shropshire Council Museums Service and will ensure cataloguing and retrieval will be to nationally agreed standards. The Museums Service catalogue will be updated as the project develops, automatically updating the records from the AdLib database and displaying low resolution images of the specimens utilising the Discovering Shropshire History web site. Access is by Title/Description entered here.
3D scans of the fossils in the collection can be viewed using SketchFab, such as this bone from the Shropshire mammoth (use your mouse left and right buttons and the thumbwheel to change position and magnification):
The Type Fossils will be added to the GB3D database, which can be viewed here.
Fossils provide information that can be used to understand evolution. They can also be used to interpret the environmental conditions in which the fossilised creatures lived and died. A good example has been created for Ludlow as it was 420 million years ago, referred to by earth scientists as holostrat. You can access this and download it to your own computer from this site, designed to be read using Adobe Acrobat reader.
The Natural History Museum in London is letting us use their Data Portal to provide public access to the Shropshire collection housed in Ludlow. Click here and select the 'CSV Fossils in Shropshire' tab to list the table of fossils or 'View' to reveal associated images.
More general descriptions of fossils, rocks and minerals are being compiled by the Natural History Museum in their Data Portal. Enter the name of the specimen you would like to see in the Search box and then click 'View' to read the details for a specific record or 'Gallery' to reveal associated images.
The FISH project is using its own web site and social media to draw attention to items of particular interest and to show how this can be used as a resource for further study and research. If you wish to make contact direct then email the Project Consultants at:
enquiries.fossilsinshropshire @ gmail.com (omitting the spaces either side of the '@' symbol)