Posted by: georginaferry | July 12, 2011

Guiding hand

Please take as read the conventional blogger’s apology for long absence.

For the past few months my Museum time has been fully occupied preparing a souvenir guide booklet. The Museum last produced one more than 20 years ago, and it has long been out of print. Meanwhile the number of visitors has been steadily climbing, passing the half million mark in 2009-10. Once they’ve enjoyed the displays, there is nothing for them to take home that will tell them more about the Museum’s origins and architecture, or about the scientific work that goes on the collections.

All that will change later this year when the new guide is published. I have had a wonderful time working on it. There are great stories to tell, from the 19th century struggle to put science on the curriculum in Oxford, to contemporary research on dung beetles or the rocks of Mount Everest. And it is very satisfying to have a chance to celebrate the work of the education staff, recently rewarded with a £10,000 prize in the inaugural Clore Award for Museum Learning.

The Museum staff have been models of tact in giving their feedback at each stage, saving me from howlers while supporting the aim to make the guide as lively and accessible as possible. Chris York at Richard Boxall Design Associates has taken the heap of text and images I supplied and turned it into a magical journey with treasures on every page. Watch this space for an announcement of the publication date.

My time as Writer in Residence is formally at an end, though I seem to have found various reasons to hang about in the Museum and will keep Dodology going for a while longer.


  1. […] souvenir guide, which I mentioned in a previous post, has now been on sale in the Museum for a couple of […]

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