The North West Collections Research Unit [NWCRU, pronounced 'new-crew'] is an ad-hoc group of curators from North West England who meet two or three times a year to discuss the on-going care of all the natural science collections in the region. In 1980 the group surveyed all the known collections in their area, and the results of this survey were published as a Register of Collections (see Hancock & Pettitt, 1981). This work encouraged curators in other areas to form Collection Research Units [CRUs], and to survey the collections in their area. This resulted in published Registers for whole of the United Kingdom except for South West England and Northern Ireland, see the list of collection registers below. In 1990 NWCRU decided to re-survey the collections in their region, and increased the number found by over a thousand. The collections register database resulting from this work is published here in searchable form. At the same time the group noted the state of storage, documentation and conservation of the collections visited, and assessed the on-going needs in these areas. The report resulting from this latter work is published as Skeletons in the Cupboard, and a full copy is provided here.
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Hancock, E G (1978) The North West Collection Research Unit. Museums Journal 77 (4): 188
Hancock, E G & Pettitt, C W (1980) A Register of Collections and Collectors in North West England (Botany, Geology and Zoology): The First Edition, March 1979. Museums Journal 79 (4): 185-187
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Pettitt, C W (1991) Putting 'Bloody Mice' to good use. Museums Journal 91 (8): 25-28
Pettitt, C W (1981). Natural Science Collection Research Units, their origin, aims and current status. Museums Journal 81 (2): 73-74
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Pettitt, C W (1991) Collections Research - the latest. Biology Curators Group Newsletter 5 (8): 92-93
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Williams, B (1987). Biological Collections UK: Report prepared under the guidance of the Museums Association Working Party on Natural Sciences collections. Museums Association, London. ISBN: 0-902102-64-8
Bateman, J., McKenna, G. & Timberlake, S. 1993. Register of Natural Science Collections in South East Britain. Museum Documentation Association (for the SECRU and AMSSEE). ISBN: 0-095963-85-7
Davis, P. & Brewer, C. 1986. A Catalogue of Natural Science Collections in North-East England. North of England Museums Service, Newcastle. 333p. ISBN: 0-9510948-0-7
Hancock, E. G. & Pettitt, C. W. 1981. Register of Natural Science Collections in North West England. Manchester Museum, Manchester. 168p. ISBN: 0-904630-04-8
Hartley, M. M., Norris, A., Pettitt, C.W., Riley, T.H. & Stier, M.A. 1987. Register of Natural Science Collections in Yorkshire and Humberside. Area Museum and Art Gallery Service for Yorkshire and Humberside, Leeds. xvi + 343p. ISBN: 0-9512207-0-5
Stace, H.H., Pettitt, C.W. & Waterston, C.D. 1987. Natural Science Collections in Scotland (Botany, Geology, Zoology). Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh. xxvi + 373p. + 2 microfiche. ISBN: 0-948636-08-4
Walley, G.P. (Ed.) (1993), Register of Natural Science Collections in the Midlands of England. Published by Nottingham City Museums for the West Midlands Area Museum Service and the East Midlands Museums Service. ISBN: 0 905634 24 1
Yeoman, R. L. & Pettitt, C. W. (Eds) (1999), Register of Natural Science Collections in Wales. The Council for Museums in Wales (in press).