Six museums accepted our invitation to take part in the experiment: Manchester Museum, World Museum Liverpool, Bolton Libraries and Museums, The Whitaker in Rossendale, Gallery Oldham, and The Atkinson in Southport.
They are part of the North West Natural History Museums Partnership, a group of 31 accredited museums with significant natural heritage collections. Many were founded in the 19th century and range from large national museums with multiple sites (Liverpool), local authority museums (Bolton, Oldham, Atkinson), not for profit community interests (Whitaker) and the largest University museum in the UK (Manchester).
There are 7 million natural history specimens in these museums alone. Collections come from all around the world but many are firmly rooted in their locality representing everyday plants, animals and natural materials. The collections also include extensive archive materials, such as these beautifully written and illustrated journals held by National Museums Liverpool.