Digi-Dinos Blog


Here is our November round up of Digi-Dino news…

Its been a busy month for the Digi-Dinos MuBu project.  Read on to find out what we’ve been up to. 

Spot the Difference!  



The building work has been progressing on the gallery and as you can see from the photos the space has changed a lot.  It will be changing even more before  2011.  The gallery is called ‘The Dinosaur Gallery: Exploring Lost Worlds’. 




‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat…’

Not quite ‘Jaws’ but according to one (sensationalist) source Leedsicthys was as long as two double-decker buses!  As part of our video podcast production we were invited to a lecture held by the Geology section of the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society.  Dr Jeff Liston from the University of Glasgow explained the difficulties that geologists have in determining the actual size of the Giant Fish. 

There were also photographs of a recent excavation in Peterborough and most of them featured one thing; rain!  It was an interesting and informative lecture and will no doubt be a great addition to our podcast collection.  Hopefully I’ll be able to provide some video clips on the YouTube Channel soon. 

And Finally…

Following a visit to New Walk Museum recently, MuBu resident writer Rod Duncan has written a great blog with a podcast so have a listen and find out more about the project here. 



Fossil Handling Sessions at New Walk Museum

Since the last blog there have been two fossil handling sessions at New Walk Museum in August.  They were drop-in sessions from 11am until 2pm.  Museum Assistant Carrie Ball led the first session which was busy from the start; visitors clearly miss the dinosaurs at New Walk!  There were lots of different people that sat to handle the fossils and to ask Carrie questions about them. 

I took some photographs at the first session.  Sometimes I asked the visitors to pick their favourite fossil for the photo.  The number one choice was a shark tooth which is around two million years old.  It wasn’t the oldest fossil in the session but it caught everyone’s attention!

There are plans to hold more sessions like this until the gallery reopens so be sure to keep at look out.

Raiders of the lost arc(hive)…

 It isn’t long before Glass Page will begin filming the video podcasts about eight objects in the collection.  In the meantime I had a meeting with the senior Natural Science curator at New Walk Museum, Mark Evans.  We were looking for any archive material about the objects, which includes the Barrow Kipper, Glass Page could use in the videos.

We found lots of reference photographs of the objects but also archive photographs.  For example, did you know that the Rutland Dinosaur was on Blue Peter?  Curator at the time John Martin was interviewed by Janet Ellis about the opening of the gallery in 1985.  We found photographs of when Janet opened the gallery and Museum Square is full of people and wide-eyed children (one of which with an ‘I love Blue Peter’ banner!) eager to see the new exhibits.  Sadly we have yet to locate the Rutland Dinosaur’s Blue Peter badge.


A Digi-Dinos MuBu update

Here is a round up of what’s been happening since the last blog…

Handle with Care

Handling box object

Work has been done on creating a new handling box session at New Walk Museum whilst the Dinosaur Gallery is being refurbished.  Throughout the summer, visitors will have the opportunity to handle real artefacts and learn all about them.  The oldest object is a coral and is 425 million years old!  Be sure not to miss the chance to get close to history.

All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up…

Recently we had a meeting with Pete and Richard from Glass Page to talk about how the video podcasts are going to be produced.  Glass Page is creative media company based in Leicester and have worked with New Walk Museum before.  It was interesting to hear everyone’s ideas and afterwards they were taken on a tour of the basement of the museum.  It won’t be long before the cameras will be rolling!

Hallo Norge! (That’s ‘hello Norway!’)

Courtesy of @ichthyfossil

It’s easy to forget that Twitter is worldwide.  I was joyfully reminded of this when I got an update of one of our new followers to @DigiDinoMB.

@Icthyfossil is a twitter feed to follow the expedition of a group of Norwegian scientists to excavate Jurassic fossils in Svalbard. What is particularly nice is that the tweets are from the point of view of the two Ichthyosaur fossils!

The expedition lasts from the 2nd to the 18th August and regular live video updates are promised on their English website http://www.forskning.no/svalbard/ so I’m looking forward to seeing what they uncover.  In the meantime I’ll try and learn some Norwegian words.

‘God morgen’ (good morning!)




The Digi-Dinos MuBu projects 

Leicester Arts & Museums Service are working with Glass Page, a Leicester based film company, to develop 8 video podcasts that introduce our star objects and their hidden stories from the Dinosaur and Geology galleries at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery.

As the galleries are currently closed for refurbishment and re-display, the video podcasts will maintain a presence for the galleries and collections during this time and will also provide additional interpretation for the galleries once they re-open to the public.

The podcasts will each be targeted to different audiences to provide more in-depth content in addition to the more traditional interpretation on view in gallery.

Working with a writer and a illustrator Leicester Arts & Museums are producing Story Sack resources to be used with Early Years, KS1 and family visitors to the new gallery. A story sack is based around a children’s book with supporting materials designed to stimulate reading activities and make shared reading a memorable and enjoyable experience.

The Story Sack will be a museum-led resource that could be used both on and off-site and to be complemented by digital resources to be available online. The online resources are envisaged to act as both an extended learning and marketing tool with user experiences from the sessions to lead to user content postings onto Flickr and social networking sites.



Museum of Life

If you missed it the first time around BBC Two’s brilliant ‘Museum of Life’ is being repeated on Tuesdays 2.35 am.  Its also available on BBC iPlayer if you’re more of a ‘Sleep-a-saurus’ than an ‘Insomni-a-don!’

Courtesy of bbc.co.uk


The episodes follow Jimmy Doherty and the team at a variety of locations to uncover the work that  goes on at that the Natural History Museum.


One of the segments is about Archaeopteryx which is thought to be the link in evolution between dinosaurs and birds.  It is 150-145 million years old, one of the oldest and most primitive bird known.  Watch how it is covered in liquid rubber by conservators!


Archaeopteryx is one of the Natural History Museum’s Species of the day.



If that doesn’t suit then episode one gives you all you need to know about the wonderful world of  ’Worm Charming’.   It’s going to be this summer’s biggest sport.


Do dinosaurs pack sun screen?

The dinosaurs are on holiday!  They have left the New Walk Museum for a round the world holiday.  Don’t worry, they’ll be back soon.  You can follow their travels through a Dinosaur Trail around the New Walk Musem.  They are free to collect at the museum or they can be downloaded below.



About this Sponsor

Leicester Arts & Museums Service manages six museums sites including New Walk Museum & Art Gallery. New Walk Museum & Art Gallery is situated within the historic New Walk area and the original museum in the city opening to the public in 1849. The museum has been the inspiration for many people including Lord Attenborough and Sir David Attenborough, who pursued their love of art and natural history as a result of spending their formative years as regular visitors to the galleries. New Walk Museum hosts wide-ranging collections spanning the natural and cultural world. A family friendly day-out, displays include Egyptians, Wild Space, World Arts, Fine Art collections and the Dinosaur & Geology galleries due to re-open in 2011.