Saturday, February 11, 2012

Backstage at the Musuem - Ann Arbor Observer

UM Exhibit Museum Behind the Scenes Day on Sunday!

I confess I did not expect the fish tour to be very exciting, but I was amazed when we were led down steep cement stairs deep into the basement and found ourselves surrounded by one of the largest fish collections in the world--hundreds of thousands of fish specimens collected by generations of U-M faculty and grad students. Shelf after shelf after dusty shelf of all manner of fish, the neat cursive handwriting on the old-fashioned Mason jars revealing more quickly than do the inscribed places and dates that these fish were collected in a different age, a different world. Up in the lab, we looked at some of those hundred-year-old fish samples dyed red under the microscope while professors explained their research.

The museums of anthropology, paleontology, zoology, and natural history are all housed in the Ruthven Museums Building and together are known as the University of Michigan Natural Science Museums (formerly the U-M Exhibit Museum). Behind the Scenes Day is a rare opportunity to venture beyond those locked double doors at the ends of the hallways and peer into the collections areas, research laboratories, and other spaces not usually open to the public.

click here for more: Backstage at the Musuem - Ann Arbor Observer

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