Museum conservation day proves a hit with young and old
What do a whale’s ear-bone, a 1950s hair dryer and a medieval brooch have in common? They were all objects used as part of a Highland and Moray Museums training day last week.
Volunteers and staff took part in a Conservation Training day organised as part of the Highland and Moray Museums Skills Development Programme. The programme offers valuable training for both paid staff and volunteers, enabling them to maximise the potential of their collections and to look after them to the highest professional standards.
Hosted at the Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore, those taking part also had a chance to see behind the scenes at the extensive stores and conservation laboratory. High Life Highland Conservation Officer Jeanette Pearson led the workshop and introduced a variety of basic conservation techniques focusing on the care of wood, metal, textiles, natural history and geology objects.
Participants learned why objects deteriorate, how to assess condition and some basic cleaning techniques. Those taking part had been invited to bring along an object from their own collections, and spent part of the day putting into practice what they had learnt with some practical ‘hands on’ experience.
Lorna Cruickshank, The Highland Council’s Independent Museums Officer who organises the programme said: “It was great to see such interest and enthusiasm from the volunteers and staff. I think everyone, both young and older, will take away some new knowledge from the day and collections in museums all over the area will benefit.”
The programme is Museums Galleries Scotland and is being led by The Highland Council on behalf of the Highland and Moray Museums and Heritage Partnership. Over the coming months staff and volunteers will have the opportunity to take part in a series of professional development workshops and skills exchange visits.