18th June 2019: Meet the Team — Conservator

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Our latest Meet the Team profile is on our Conservator, Janet Ashdown.

Janet Ashdown

What are the key parts to your role?

As the Society’s conservator I take care of the collections, ensuring they are preserved for the future.

What do you like about your job?

There is a huge variety of material in the Society’s collections – books, manuscripts, prints, drawings, paintings and natural history specimens. I am always learning new skills and techniques that help me care for them.

How did you end up in this job?

I started working part-time at the Society in 2000 repairing books and working in the office. In 2002 I became the full-time conservator.

What is the most interesting item to you in the Linnean Society collections?

carpological colllection 12

When I first joined the Society I was asked to look at Smith’s Carpological collection with a view to conserving it. Because of other priorities this wasn’t possible until 2018 when the Society was awarded a grant towards cleaning and housing this fascinating collection of seeds and economic botany. You can read about the collection here. We also recently had a lunchtime lecture by Dr Maria Zytaruk on the history of seed exchange which focused on the packaging the collections were held in.