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Handling, packing and storage of natural sciences collections
Tue 21 February 2017, 10:00 – 16:30 GMT
This one-day workshop will give participants the opportunity to practice handling and repacking a range of natural sciences specimens, and provide the best practice context for techniques covered. It will explore how to assess a collection's repackaging needs and prioritise between these. A tour of the natural sciences stores at Plymouth Museum & Art Gallery will show practical solutions to achieving access, care and efficient use of space with varying resources. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion.
The workshop is part of the John Ellerman Foundation funded SWANS (South West Area Natural Sciences) collections project, supporting skills and networks for museums and heritage organisations who hold publicly available natural sciences collections in the South West region. It follows foundation workshop An Introduction to Working with Natural Sciences Collections delivered by the project team in April 2016 and is accompanied by other sessions in the programme on environment & pests; cleaning natural sciences specimens; display of natural history collections and working with entomology collections.
Participating institutions which have signed the project's charter will receive a FREE take-home kit of materials and tools to support them to implement learning.
Who should attend?
Staff and volunteers who work with or manage natural sciences collections in the museum and heritage sector in the south west region. The session is suitable for those who have no or limited experience of working with these collections, or would like refresher training.
Max. 15 delegates
What will you learn?
By the end of the session you will be able to:
- Safely handle a range of natural sciences specimens
- Identify repackaging priorities for your institution's stored collections
- Repack a variety of specimens using conservation-grade materials
- Recognise situations that may require specialist conservation intervention
- Describe storage solutions that balance care, access and efficient use of space
How does this course support you to achieve and maintain Arts Council England’s Accreditation Standard?
The course supports the following Requirements of the Accreditation Standard:
2.4 Care and Conservation Policy and 2.6 Care and Conservation Plan – your Policy must be based on a combination of preventive and remedial conservation, so it is essential to know how far to go when treating an object. The techniques you will learn will enable you to draw up a practical Care and Conservation Plan that sets out procedures and identifies actions to improve collections care in your museum.
Jan Freedman is Curator for the Natural History collections at Plymouth Museum & Art Gallery. He looks after a range of specimens including, rocks, minerals, fossils, skeletons, entomology, birds’ eggs, herbaria and spirit specimens. Over the 10 years of working at Plymouth Museum, he has undertaken several repackaging projects to improve the care of collections.
Helena Jaeschke is an accredited conservator (PACR) who provides advice and support on collection care to the museums of the southwest as the SWMDP Conservation Development Officer. She has worked on a range of natural science specimens including geology, invertebrates, fossil and sub-fossil material, taxidermy, fluid-preserved specimens, bone and shell, as well as associated scientific models and instruments. She has been providing training for museums since 2005. She is a Fellow of the International Institute of Conservation.
Isla Gladstone SWANS project lead and Senior Curator for natural sciences at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, and Roz Bonnet Museum Development Support Officer for SWMDP will also be on hand for the day.
Please note: refreshments will be provided, but attendees should bring lunch.