26 January 2012

Aculeate wasps, bees collections highlighted

The importance of the collections of aculeate wasps and bees housed in the Albany Museum is supported by the statements of Professor James Carpenter of the American Museum of Natural History, New York and Dr Michael Kuhlmann of the Natural History Museum London respectively.

Writing in 2010 in support of the proposed building expansion of the Albany Museum Professor Carpenter wrote, "Having visited there myself . . . That is certainly the most important collection of southern African wasps that you have squeezed into your present space . . ."

Now in 2012 in a chapter, Pollen resources of non-Apis bees in southern Africa, of the book Evolution of Plant-Pollinator Relationships, edited by Sebastien Patiny and published in 2012 by Cambridge University Press, Dr Kuhlmann with the South African bee expert, Dr Connal Eardley, PPRI, Pretoria, has written, "The most important and extensive data resource on flower visitation by southern African bees are the detailed observations of Sarah and Friedrich Gess over the past 40 years. This data was recorded in an electronic database that is continuously updated.................. All observations are completely documented by voucher specimens that are housed in the Albany Museum, Grahamstown, making it a most valuable source of information."

Anyone interested in the work of Drs Sarah and Fred Gess are welcomed to visit Albany Museum in Grahamstown, South Africa, or e-mail: albanymuseum@ru.ac.za

23 January 2012

Museums’ Little Contribution

By: Zongezile Matshoba

“Yes I aced my history, thank you very much,” those were the words of Siba Quma, a 2011 matriculant from Victoria Girls High in Grahamstown. She obtained a distinction in history.

Quma was one of the learners that represented Albany Museum and the Eastern Cape Province in the Robben Island Museum 2010 Spring School (RIM SS2010). She chose a radio elective, and anchored the recorded show. The 2010 theme was “Africa Unite and fight Xenophobia".

Quma said that the contribution of the museums and her visit to Robben Island had a great impact on her studies and achievements.

“It helped stir up passion for the (history) subject thus leading to full dedication and such results,” she said.

She was able to view things on a different perspective, objectively, with open mind and became an independent thinker.

Quma is very thankful of her association with museums as that helped her to question certain things and research, and come up with her own conclusion to certain events.

The RIM Spring School hosts various learners from the nine provinces of South Africa and several SADC states such as Namibia.

She aims to study International Relations at Rhodes University this year.

Albany Museum at RIM SS2010