Event co-ordinator, Ms Preshnee Singh, showcasing specimen displays at the Frank Bush Zoological Museum.

International Museum Day Puts Treasured Specimens on Show

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus commemorated the 41st International Museum Day at the Frank Bush Zoological Museum.

Since 1977, International Museum Day has been celebrated worldwide on or around 18 May.

While the Frank Bush Museum is not open to the public, it has been used to educate University students about Zoology through the displays of valuable specimens that are over a century old. The collections at the museum date back to 1903 under the first Professor of Zoology at the University, Dr Ernest Warren.

Museums are an important source of cultural enrichment and exchange and they also foster the development of mutual understanding and peace among all. Hence, the event was aimed at raising awareness about the importance of museums in the development of society and to promote awareness of the existence of the collections in the Frank Bush Zoological Museum. Moreover, the event also sought to highlight the current challenges the museum faces. These include pressure for space and the deterioration of some of the collections to name but a few.

The event was attended by a number of UKZN postgraduate students and staff members. Among them were pupils from Grace College who were on a school tour to the University.

‘We host regular school tours when schools approach us and show them the facilities we have; the museum being one of them. It was nice that this school group coincidently visited the university on International Museum Day,’ said Ms Preshnee Singh who co-ordinated the event.

Words: Zolile Duma

Photograph: Nomasiko Nokubonga Jele