THE museum is to close later this month until the end of March next year.
Normally open all year round, the decision has been taken to shut the popular attraction from December 24 to allow staff to concentrate their efforts on a review of the stored collection.
The collection provides the content of core displays and material for special exhibitions, and is used in work with schools and other groups, as well as being accessed by researchers. During the closure, an audit and review of a large section of this will be carried out.
The first phase will involve decanting the contents of the store into the Scott Gallery. From here staff will catalogue, mark and check the condition of all objects. The second phase will comprise reviewing and reorganising the stores.
Curator Shona Sinclair said: “By the end of the project we should have made a big reduction in our backlog and ensure that we continue to meet standards for collections care.
“In terms of impact on the public, January to March is normally the quietest period of the year at the museum.”
“We hope that public inconvenience can be minimised and will respond to requests for access from visitors who have made a special trip without realising we are closed, visitors on business and researchers, as well as requests from schools and other special interest groups.
“The telephones will be answered as usual.”