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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 35

Annika Normann

The keeper of Copenhagen’s veterinary collection has a two-headed calf and a bisected lion in her collection. She talks to James Clasper about why she feels like Indiana Jones. Words by James Clasper. Photograph by Christian Møller Andersen.

You must have one of the most unusual jobs in Copenhagen. Tell me about it.
I’m a natural history conservator. I look after the historical collections of veterinary and animal science at the University of Copenhagen. Most people think I’m a taxidermist, because it’s the same word in Danish. Much of my work involves changing the fluid that preserves the “wet specimens” in the collections and registering them clearly.

How old are the collections? The specimens date mainly from the 1800s, with a few from the early 1900s and some were even collected by Peter Christian Abildgaard, who founded the School of Veterinary Medicine in 1773. I’m the first person to work with most of the collections for about 30 years. Much of it was scattered all over the campus and moved into basements, attics and so on. In fact, my master’s thesis involved working out what

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Five

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