Yorkshire Museum
The Yorkshire Museum is a museum in York, England. It is the home of the Cawood sword, and has four permanent collections, covering biology, geology, archaeology and astronomy. It is due to undergo a major refurbishment from November 2009 to 1 August 2010, with major structural changes and a re-development of all existing galleries.

History
The Museum was founded by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society to accommodate their geological and archaeological collections, and was originally housed in Ousegate, York until the site became too small. In 1828 the society received by royal grant, ten acres (0.040 km²) of land formerly belonging to St Mary’s Abbey in order to build a new museum. The main building of the museum is called the Yorkshire Museum and was designed by William Wilkins in a Greek Revival style. It is a Grade I listed building. It was officially opened in February 1830, which makes it one of the longest established museums in England. A condition of the royal grant was that the land surrounding the Museum building should be a botanic gardens; this was done in the 1830s, and they are now known as the Museum Gardens. On 26 September 1831 the inaugural meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science was held at the Yorkshire Museum. In 1960, the Museum along with the Museum Gardens, were given in trust to York City Council, its successor the City of York Council in 2002 set up the York Museums Trust to manage the York Castle Museum, York Art Gallery, the Yorkshire Museum and the Museum Gardens.

Collections
The four permanent collections at the museum all have English designated collection status, which means they are "pre-eminent collections of national and international importance".
  • The biology collection contains 200,000 specimens, including both fauna and flora, with the majority of the collection made up of insects. There are two stuffed specimens of the extinct great auk, an almost complete skeleton of an extinct moa and a large collection of specimens from the Yorkshire region including the remains of elephants, cave bears and hyena from Kirkdale Cave dated to the Quaternary period, around 125,000 years.
  • The geology collection contains over 112,500 specimens of rocks, minerals and fossils. Fossils make up the majority of the collection numbering over 100,000 samples, and include important specimens from the Carboniferous, Mesozoic and Tertiary periods.
  • The astronomy collection is mainly kept in the Observatory in Museum Gardens with some telescopes kept at the Castle Museum in York.
  • The archaeology collection has close to a million objects that date from around 500,000 BC to the 20th century and includes the Coppergate Helmet, discovered in York in 1982, and the Ormside Bowl, an intricate example of work by an Anglian silversmith. In 1992 the Yorkshire Museum paid two and a half million pounds for the Middleham Jewel which was originally found by Ted Seaton using a metal detector at Middleham, North Yorkshire. The jewel is a gold diamond-shaped pendant with a blue sapphire at the top dating to around 1460 that is engraved with a picture of the Christian Trinity on the front and of the Nativity of Jesus on the back.
The museum also has a collection of studio pottery consisting of over 3,500 pieces that represent more than 500 potters. These were bequeathed to the Yorkshire Museum by Wakefield librarian Bill Ismay in 2001. The collection can be seen in York Art Gallery.


Events
The museum has Finds Days in the main Yorkshire Museum building where members of the national British Portable Antiquities Scheme and museum staff will identify objects brought to them by members of the public. The information is also recorded to help build up a more complete archaeological picture of the past.

Refurbishment: "Letting in the Light"
The museum is to close on 2 November 2009 for a major refurbishment and will reopen on 1 August 2010, Yorkshire Day. The £2 million scheme will restructure the interior of the building and result in three major sections: "Eboracum: Face to Face with the Romans", "York: The Power and the Glory" (Anglian, Viking and Medieval York), and "Extinct: A way of life" a "fun, family-oriented gallery" featuring fossils, skeletons and animal specimens. There will also be a "History of York" section and "Enquiry - The Learning Level".

Vale of York Viking hoard
A Viking 10th century niello silver-gilt pot full of coins was found near Harrogate in 2007. It was valued at £1,082,000 and acquired jointly by the British Museum and the York Museums Trust. After being cleaned by the conservation department of the British Museum it was displayed at the Yorkshire Museum from 17 September 2009 for a period of six weeks before moving to the British Museum. It is planned that the hoard will be displayed in the museum again when it reopens after refurbishment on 1 August 2010.

Building Activity

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