Journal Article

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  • Unlocking Designation through a collaborative ‘ecosystem’: Secrets from Ipswich Museums’ application and Ice Age story
    Jackson, S.
    Journal of Natural Science Collections, Volume 12, pages 74 - 86

    Designated status from the Arts Council England has been awarded to Ipswich Museums for their Post-Cretaceous Geology Collection. This accolade recognises the collection as an internationally important, essential research resource for understanding this period of earth history in Britain. This paper reveals the focus of our application on Suffolk’s ice age story, and concentrates particularly on how collaboration throughout our Designation journey has been so critical to its success. Internally, this has included the development of a cross-disciplinary Designation team to specifically develop and complete the bid.

    Externally it has included collaboration with previous Ipswich curators, a local geological conservation organisation, curators and collections managers and academic researchers in the field of Plio-Pleistocene palaeontological research. This process led to the capturing of critical data for the applications in the two-stage process, whilst helping us to meet the three key Designation criteria. Although the Designation award was the key goal Ipswich Museums sought, the strengthened relationships with our collaborative network of academics, museum professionals and local community have been a major outcome.

    Keywords: Designation, Ipswich Museums, Plio-Pleistocene, geology, ice age, collection