Historical Collections of the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum
I’ve determined Friday’s Freak of the Week was a three-way tie with athankyou’s guess as the cervical vertebrae of a whale, somuchscience’s deduction that it was some type of cetacean (not a minke, however), and a valiant effort on pingaspie’s part to narrow it down to the same. How rude of me to publish a FotW without I myself even knowing the true answer! Dave said it’s from some type of cetacean, most likely a dolphin, but was unaware of its origins. In my defense, it’s not as though we have a lot of whales in Montana and our comparative collection representing that order is quite small. So, congratulations! and my apologies for not giving a solid answer; forgive me?!
Our latest exhibit highlighting the historical collections of our museum opened last Thursday on the first floor of our building, Health Sciences. We put in a lot of work over the last three months to get this together, but probably would have completed it much sooner if we had an adequate budget (and if I wasn’t the only fulltime employee) — museum exhibits are incredibly difficult! The purple frames around the photographs were all cut by hand, as well as the labels (it’s heavy mat board); we had to make photocopies of original labels, put UV-protective strips on the lights — and on top of that find a way to hang and display everything (the wall is thin carpet-like fabric covering basically concrete). That doesn’t even include the time to research the items and write cohesive descriptions for everything! I’m extremely proud of the way it turned out, and will be photographing individual aspects of this exhibit over the next coming weeks in order to go into further discussion about these very significant items and those unique individuals which collected them.
If you exclude the cost of reproducing the original historical photographs (courtesy of the Archives at the Mike and Maureen Mansfield Library, and cost about $135 [that was a big ‘oops’ on my part — we were not anticipating that high cost and if we could we would probably do it differently next time], the entire exhibit was put together with about $30. It took a lot of extra time, but we did it!