11th December 2014: Linnean Society Collections Accorded Designation Status by Arts Council England

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Linnean Society Collections Accorded Designation Status by Arts Council England

The Linnean Society of London (LSL) is delighted to announce that the Arts Council England (ACE) have today formally accorded Designated status to the entirety of the Linnean Society's library, archive and biological specimen Collections.

The ACE Designation Panel agreed that a compelling case had been made for the breadth and coherence of the Linnean Society library, archive and biological specimen Collections, which have had, and continue to have, undoubted lasting importance.

the Linnean Society library

This is a significant milestone for the Linnean Society because, although the Collections have always been considered important, it is only with the improvements in access to the Collections at Burlington House, both physical (lift, disabled toilet) and electronic (website, the Online Collections), which the Society has made over recent years that we have been able to achieve this important designation.

the Linnean Society library

The improvements which have facilitated access to the Collections were made possible by generous donations from a number of benefactors including the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation, the Eleanor McMillan Fund, the John Murray Charitable Trust, the Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin Fund, as well as by various legacies and personal donations from the Fellowship.

The Society is indebted to these organisations and individuals for their generous support and would like to recognise them here. Designated status should help the Society moving forward with ongoing fundraising initiatives to utilise the Collections to support education and public engagement. There is a need for students of all ages to understand and engage with the wonders of the natural world, while many primary school teachers have no background in science, and they in particular have voiced a need for help in delivering biology, especially the newly introduced module on Evolution.

the Linnean Society library

The general public also has a thirst for learning about natural history. Given its unique heritage of Linnaeus, Darwin and Wallace, the Linnean Society is ideally placed to address these needs. A number of grant applications are in process to raise the funds required of around £0.5million for education and public engagement activities over the next three years.