The Friends of Ludlow Museum              Castle from Whitcliffe

             Resources: Research

We support research by individuals, by academic institutions, and ensuring their endeavours are properly recorded and made available to enhance our understanding of Shropshire and its heritage. This includes a substantial grant awarded in 2015 for the digitisation of the geological collections.

The major part of the collections is housed within the Shropshire Museums Resource Centre in Ludlow, co-located with the public library.

The collections are an important resource, locally, nationally and, in the case of the fossils, internationally. They are regularly used by schools, universities and individual researchers.

The Museums Service Mission Statement is as follows: "We develop and sustain museums and collections which offer people imaginative quality opportunities to actively engage with Shropshire's heritage in a way which meets their needs as an individual or community."

The Shropshire Museums Resource Centre at Ludlow was designed and built in 2003 to provide not only storage and care for the majority of the Services’ collections but also to include dedicated rooms for education, supervised research, and conservation. The purpose of these is to allow material to be requested from our collection stores and studied in an appropriate space where equipment for studying these materials, for instance petrological and binocular microscopes and a specialist library. Alternatively, researchers are permitted to work in store if accompanied by a member of curatorial staff.

Access itself is arranged by appointment with the curator, either in person or by phone, letter or email. Shropshire Museums provides potential researchers with a factsheet explaining the process and requirements for study.

To further support researchers at the Resource Centre, a large body of academic journals and publications have been amassed which are available for consultation by researchers, staff and visitors alike. In the case of geology these include volumes of major journals such as the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, Palaeontology, and Palaeontological Memoirs. Many of these journal runs begin in the 19th century and continue through to the late 20th century. There are also separate academic papers which cover aspects of geology including palaeontology and stratigraphy. These have been collected because of their relevance to Shropshire’s geology and types of object in the collection itself, or because they cite or figure collection specimens.

In order to promote further use of the collections for research we have over the past five years begun a programme of investigation into the collections and the collectors who gave them. This has been conducted by staff and volunteers with the aim of making this information accessible via the internet, thereby alerting potential researchers to some of the content of our collections. We have also begun to provide access online to basic information harvested from our collections management database and low resolution images of the objects themselves. Click here to view this resource; view the records by entering a relevant keyword (e.g. trilobite).

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