Conservator, Collections Services and Information Management
Carolyn Leckie is responsible for the long-term preservation of the museum's 10.2 million specimens that are in collection storage and on exhibit.
Museums exist to collect, preserve and interpret. It is Carolyn's job to promote a culture of preservation that will ensure the museum's collection will last for generations. Collections in natural history museums act as a library of life and serve as the data on which scientific research is based. The museum's research demands massive collections, and therefore, only a preventive-preservation approach is realistic. Every aspect of the design and operation of the storage facility at the museum's research and collection facility is taken into account to reduce the risk of catastrophic damage (fire, floods and earthquakes), as well as other problems such as light, insects, pollutants, temperature and humidity. Given the tremendous range of specimens from fossils to DNA, there is a long, interesting list of preservation issues to address.
When specimens are selected to go on exhibit, they are much more prone to damage and receive a higher level of care. For these projects, Carolyn gets to participate in the planning and design of the exhibition and then has the pleasure of carefully unpacking and inspecting specimens and, if necessary, repairing the specimens and objects that visitors come to see.
In the Museum's Blog
The Strap-Toothed Whale: A Fascinating Specimen in Whales Tohorā
As a conservator with the museum, Carolyn Leckie has examined all the specimens in the exhibition Whales Tohorā. The strap-toothed whale's bizarre teeth particularly fascinated her. Continue reading