MA announces successful applicants to Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund

Patrick Steel, 02.07.2014
Round seven of £1m a year fund for collections work
The Museums Association (MA) has announced the successful applicants to round seven of the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.

Grants awarded in this round include £95,534 to the Royal Institution of Cornwall to develop its photographic collection; £84,500 to Birmingham Museums Trust to conserve and share knowledge of the Staffordshire Hoard; and £84,600 to Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust to research, conserve, digitise and display its collection relating to HMS Invincible.

Sally Colvin, the MA’s collections coordinator, said: “The projects awarded grants in this round really bring together research into collections with audience engagement – across a terrific range of collections.

“This is the first time we’ve had the larger £500,000 pot from which to award grants, but it was still tough for the selection committee to choose between projects. From 63 initial stage applications totalling over £4m we have awarded £525,000 to six projects.”

The fund, established in 2011, awards up to £1m a year for time-limited collections work outside the scope of an organisation’s core resources.

The MA is currently receiving initial applications for round eight of the fund, which closes on 12 September 2014.


Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund

Round seven funded projects

The Atkinson

£68,000 for Rediscovering Our Collections to conserve and share the works on paper collection through courses, study days, workshops, lectures and exhibitions.

The museum will work with communities and students from Southport College, volunteers, students and young people through digital engagement, national and international partners.

Birmingham Museums Trust

£84,500 for Science of the Staffordshire Hoard to conserve and share knowledge of the hoard.

In-depth analysis of materials to give greater understanding of Anglo-Saxon manufacturing techniques, with findings feeding into public programmes, for example meet-the-expert events, written resources available in galleries, blogs and vlogs.

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust

£84,600 to research, conserve, digitise and display the Age of Sail Invincible collection, engaging with an inter-generational team of volunteers from the local community and the University of Kent, with a series of conservation workshops and dedicated online resource.

Leeds Museums and Galleries

£98,500 for Rethinking John Sell Cotman, a research and digitisation project to connect experts with collection of drawings, prints and watercolours.

Planned partnership with University of Leeds to develop public study days and student internships, together with schools education sessions and work with community groups focusing on those with mental health challenges.

Royal Institution of Cornwall

£95,534 to develop the access, use and care of the museum’s 60,000-item photographic collection, which demonstrates some of the earliest photographic techniques, particularly those relating to underground photography in 19th century mines.

Facilitating knowledge share between communities in Cornwall and abroad, training and supporting volunteers and establishing a series of community based exhibitions.

Scarborough Museums Trust

£94,500 for Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside to review and develop use of the seaside heritage collections in partnership with Whitby Museum, Filey Museum, Southend Museum Service and Turner Contemporary.

To develop a touring exhibition for participating museums and an events programme to complement the exhibition to engage wider audiences.