Analysis of museum labels description

Anna Karpiewska,

Dariusz Iwan,

Przemysław Szymroszczyk,

Ewa Lenard,

Marek Halama,

Dominika Pluta,

Tadeusz Dobosz


The aim of the study was to analyse the content of museum labels from various periods in terms of their usefulness in creating new labels for exhibits included in museum collections. Nearly 5,000 museum labels from the years 1811 to 2017 were reviewed, for exhibits at the Museum of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Herbarium of the University of Wroclaw, and the Museum of Forensic Medicine at the Medical University of Wroclaw. On the basis of the collected information, an attempt was made to develop a ‘universal label’template, including a range of necessary information from the point of view of managing and maintaining the accessibility of the relevant collection.

Słowa kluczowe: museum, museum collections, exhibit, description of the exhibit, label / muzeum, kolekcje muzealne, eksponat muzealny, opis eksponatu muzealnego, etykieta muzealna

Bitgood S., The ABCs of Label Design, “Visitor Studies” 1991, No. 3 (1), pp. 115–119. Bitgood S., Deadly sins revisited: A review of the exhibit labels literature, “Visitors Behavior” 1989, No. 4 (3), pp. 4–11.

Ceglia F.P. de, The importance of being Florentine: A journey around the world for wax anatomical Venuses, “Nuncius” 2011, No. 26 (1), pp. 83–108.

Drobnik J., Zielnik i zielnikoznawstwo, Warszawa 1992.

Fedorowicz Z., Feliksiak S., 150-lecie Gabinetu Zoologicznego w Warszawie (1818–1968), “Memorabilia Zoologica” 2016, No. 1, pp. 1–202.

Garbino G.S., Nogueira M.R., On the mammals collected by Friedrich Sellow in Brazil and Uruguay (1814–1831), with special reference to the types and their provenance, “Zootaxa” 2017, No. 17 (2), pp. 172–190.

Haralambous Y., Typesetting, Old German Fraktur, Schwabacher, Gotisch and Initials, “Proceedings of TEX90” 1991, pp. 129–138.

The herbarium handbook: Royal Botanic Gardens, ed. D. Bridson, L. Forman, Kew 1992.

Hicks A.J., Hicks P.H., A selected bibliography of plant collection and herbarium curation, “Taxon”

1978, No. 27 (1), pp. 63–99.

Hosenally F., Vanmuylder N., Louryan S., The dental collection Hyacinthe Brabant: A pedagogic and scientific tool, “Morphologie” 2016, No. 100 (328), pp. 24–35.

Hudson L.N. et al., Inselect: Automating the digitalization of Natural History Collections, “PLoS One” 2015, No. 10 (11), pp. 1–15.

International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, 1999, 4th ed. London, International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, ICZN; International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Melbourne Code), 2012, Regnum Vegetabile 154, Koeltz Scientific Books.

Jain S.K., A handbook of field and herbarium methods, New Delhi 1977.

Konwerski S., Błoszyk J., Zbiory przyrodnicze Wydziału Biologii Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu – struktura i funkcjonowanie, “Opuscula Musealia” 2013, Vol. 21, pp. 137–144.

Krzeszowska E., Machłajewska I., Odkrywanie historii zbiorów muzeum geologii złóż w Gliwicach – śladami niektórych metryczek okazów paleontologicznych, “Górnictwo i Geologia” 2012, No. 7 (3), pp. 47–56.

McManus P.M., Oh, yes, they do: How museum visitors read labels and interact with exhibit texts curator, “The Museum Journal” 1989, No. 32 (3), pp. 174–189.

Mulieri P.R. et al., The type specimens of Tachinidae (Diptera) housed in the Museo Argentino do Ciencias Naturales, “Bernardino Rivadavia”, Buenos Aires, “Zootaxa” 2013, No. 3670, pp. 157–176.

Patitucci L.D. et al., The type specimens of Calyptrate (Diptera) housed in non-traditional institutions in Argentina, “Zootaxa” 3025, No. 3905 (4), pp. 557–572.

Rego M.A., Moreira-Lima L., Silveria L.F., Frahnert S., On the ornithological collection of Friedrich Sellow in Brazil (1814–1831), with some considerations about the provenance of his specimens, “Zootaxa” 2013, No. 3616, pp. 478–484.

Reid C. A., Beatson M., Disentanling a taxonomic nightmare: A revision of the Australian, Indomalayan and Pacific species of Altica Geoffroy, 1762 (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerrucinae), “Zootaxa” 2015, No. 18 (4), pp. 503–551.

Salvador A., Pickering J., Type catalogue of Terebridae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Conoidea) in the Natural History Museum, London, UK, “Zootaxa” 2017, No. 4250(2), pp. 101–142.

Screven C.G., Exhibition and information centers: Some principles and approaches, “Curator” 1986, No. 29 (2), pp. 109–137.

Screven C.G., Motivating visitors to read labels, “ILVS Review” 1992, No. 2 (2), pp. 183–211.

Skvortsov A.K., The herbarium: Handbook of methods and techniques, Moscow 1977. Svenson G.J., Revision of the Neotropical bark mantis genus Liturgosa Saussure, 1869 (Insecta, Mantodea, Liturgusini), “ZooKeys” 2014, No. 390, pp. 1–214.

Svenson G.J., The type material of Mantodea (praying mantises) deposited in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, USA, “ZooKeys” 2014, No. 433, pp. 31–75.

Vissers J. et al., Scientific user requirements for a herbarium data portal, “PhytoKeys” 2017, No. 78, pp. 37–57.

Weiner G., Why Johnny can’t read labels, “Curator” 1963, No. 6 (2), pp. 143–156.

Wiig O., L. Bachmann L., The mammal type specimens at the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway, “Zootaxa” 2013, No. 3736, pp. 587–597.

Womersley J.S., Manual for plant collecting and herbarium development, “FAO, Field Doc.” 1980, No. 23, pp. 1–147.