The breast feathers of many birds are arranged in rather organized lines. I get my thumbs wet and spread them apart to expose the sternum before making the first incision - an early step in preparing a skin for the collection. This brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) was a window kill, and now is a valuable research specimen at The Field Museum!

Learn more about the fascinating world of cabinets of curiosities with art historian Stephen Bann, from the University of Bristol. Sunday, May 31, at 2:00 p.m.—free tickets required.

Photo: Installation view gallery 257 “Art and Wonder: A Cabinet of Collections

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A few weeks later and some of us are still working on the dolls house furniture! It now has over 400 part records on our database and with the help of volunteers, every single part has been labelled or individually bagged, including tiny forks! They have also been photographed, measured and repacked. Some of the most delicate items even have their own little foam niches cut out for them to keep them extra safe!