Designated Status award for Tullie House collection

One of the most important collections in England is right on your doorstep…

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery’s Natural Science Collections have been awarded Designated status by Arts Council England; joining the list of pre-eminent Designated collections which already includes local collections under the care of Wordsworth Trust, Manchester City Galleries and The People’s History Museum.

The Arts Council’s Designation scheme is a mark of distinction awarded to the finest cultural collections housed in non-national museums, libraries and archives across England. The Designation scheme was set up in 1997 to identify exceptional cultural collections housed in non-national institutions which tell significant stories from England’s rich history, from Churchill’s archives, to the Romantic Movement and the history of the surgical profession.

Tullie House Museum’s award is a mark of its commitment to the highest standards, and the continued recognition and promotion of this remarkable collection, for the enjoyment of generations to come.

The Tullie House natural science collection consists of over 320,000 specimens and is associated with 2.2 million biological records held at the Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre, which is integral to the work of the Museum. The collection includes a stunning variety of items from different disciplines including insects, taxidermy, bird eggs, botanical pressed sheets and rocks, minerals and fossils. Parts of the collection are over two hundred years old and is a fantastic resource for showing how Cumbria's diverse fauna and flora is changing over time. The collection continues to inform vital research and is currently part of a large research project headed by Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum in researching how bumblebees, vital pollinators for our crops, are responding to land-use change.

Andrew Mackay, Director Tullie House commented: “It is a huge achievement for the organisation the size of Tullie House to receive such an accolade. The award recognises the collection and the work that the museum and its partners undertake in caring for and developing an essential resource for understanding the exceptional natural history of Cumbria.

Sarah Maxfield, Area Director North Arts Council England said: “We are delighted to be awarding this prestigious standard to Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust. The natural science collection offers a fascinating and important insight into the history of the nation, and should be celebrated.”