The following papers are placed here in the hope they will assist fellow curators around the world who increasingly are facing questions about the utility of their natural science collections. Please feel free to download and use the information.
There are three papers at present, all by C.W. Pettitt:
1991 What Price Natural History Collections or 'Why do we need all these bloody mice?' (in Museums Journal) [This is written for non-scientists, but it did impress the then Chairman of the UK Museums and Galleries Commission when I gave him a copy to read on the way home - he rang to tell me so!)
1994 Using the Collections (in Manual of Natural History Curatorship) [This was written in part for non-natural-historians who might find themselves in charge of NH collections, but it is fairly detailed]
1997 The Cultural Impact of Natural Science Collections (in Value and Valuation of Natural History Collections ) [This is probably the fullest account, with the most references, but all three papers, although repetitive to some degree, do have unique information and hopefully will repay reading]