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.

FENSCORE Bibliography (Includes references to 'pre-cursor' and related papers)

Ambrose, T. & Stace, H (1983) Natural Science Collections Research in Scotland. Museums Journal 83 (4): 230-233

Challinor, D. and Kerby, C, (1984) Natural Science collections as a global data bank. Seventh Triennial Meeting of the ICOM Committee for Conservation, Copenhagen, 1984. Paris, ICOM in association with the J. Paul Getty Trust, pp. 84. 13.4-84.13.7. (quote from the start of the report).

Charlmers-Hunt, J M (1976) Natural History Sales 1700-1972. A Register of sales in the British Isles. Sotherby, Parke, Bernet, London. 189p.

Greenwood, E F et al. (1977) The function of Local Natural History Collections. Museums Journal 77 (3): 129-133

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

Hancock, E G and Morgan, P J (1980). A survey of zoological and botanical material in museums and other institutions of Great Britain. Biology Curators Group, Report No. 1.

Pettitt, C W (1986) Collections Research in the United Kingdom. in Light, R. B. Museum Documentation systems. London, Butterworths. ISBN: 0-408-10815-0

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

Pettitt, C W (1989) Sort/Search Codes: A pragmatic approach to rationalising museum information on computer. Proceedings of the M.D.A. Conference on Terminology in Museums, Cambridge 1988.

Pettitt, C W (1991) Collections Research - the latest. Biology Curators Group Newsletter 5 (8): 92-93

Sherborne, C D (1940) Where is the - Collection? C.U.P., Cambridge. 148p.

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

List of published regional Registers of Natural Science Collections:

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).