The Department of Vertebrate Zoology at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is going to see some dramatic improvements.
The improvements are made possible thanks to a grant from the California Cultural and Historic Endowment, as well as several private donors and a donation from Container Alliance.
The money will be used to preserve and protect core specimens in the department’s collection.
The collection includes 45,000 specimens, the majority of which were housed in wooden cabinets from as far back as the 1960s, according to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
The wooden cabinets were prone to infestation, making the transition to chemically stable ones necessary for preservation.
The museum says it will be a long process, and it’s expected to take about six months. Staff and volunteers at the museum are packing and moving the tens of thousands of specimens.
Once the process is complete, there will also be additional space for more specimens in the collection.
“It’s a big project to completely rehab this historical collection,” said Curator of Vertebrate Zoology Krista Fahy. “This project will ensure the conservation of this material for decades to come, allowing the Museum to continue its mission to disseminate information from our collections to citizens and researchers around the world.”