Paper No. 31-6
Presentation Time: 3:10 PM
THE IMPORTANCE OF HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS FROM THE UPPER DEVONIAN CLEVELAND BLACK SHALE OF NORTHEASTERN OHIO IN GALLERY DESIGN: THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY’S CENTENNIAL TRANSFORMATION PROJECT
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has a deep history of collecting in the Cleveland Member of the Ohio Shale and related rocks of northeastern Ohio. In the mid-1960s, staff, volunteers, and local citizens rallied to collect significant vertebrate, invertebrate and plant fossils during the construction of the regional interstate, I-71, that will be showcased as part of the museum's Centennial Transformation Project. The iconic placoderm fish, Dunkleosteus, will be brought to life via a giant, curved screen that will immerse the visitor in the ecosystem of the Late Devonian sea (including life-size animated recreations of arthropods, schooling fish, floating logs, and shark attacks), while related fossil material exhibited nearby will showcase the hard-science evidence for these life interpretations. A second exhibit on the natural history of Ohio will give students and visitors a statigraphic perspective on the deep time preserved in the regional geology by allowing them to explore rocks and fossils from the Cleveland Member as well as other Ohio rocks and fossils. Additionally, the museum will allow the visitors to engage with samples from the historical collections and learn about some little-appreciated issues such as fossil pyrite poisoning. The goal of the new museum galleries will be to have the exhibits become gateways for visitors to explore the natural world of the Ohio Shale and adjacent rock units, rock layers that are near to, or underlie the urban environment in which most of our visitors live.