Natural history specimens from the Horiman Museum stores

Seminar will explore new approaches to collections care

Nicola Sullivan, 11.05.2016
Event will shed light on how to manage collections in challenging times
A seminar organised by the Museums Association (MA) will explore the latest practice in caring for museum collections.
Take Good Care: Looking After Your Collection, taking place on 6 July at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, will cover a number of topics, including pest management, conducting reviews of collections and rationalisation.
The sessions will also explore the impact that funding cuts and the subsequent loss of specialist and curatorial expertise are having on museums' collections.
Tony Butler, executive director of Derby Museums, will talk about how executive teams are addressing collections care issues strategically in light of the cuts. He will talk about the importance of involving community groups and external partners in museum projects.

Emma Chaplin from Museum and Heritage Services is chairing the event. “Collection managers are being asked to open up their collections in new and wider ways and it can be hard to know how to manage this," she says.

"The programme for this seminar shows how creative approaches to balancing access and collections care needs can lead to collections being used in ways that would once have seemed impossible."
Christian Baars, senior preventive conservator at Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd (National Museum Cardiff), will discuss how collection care issues were considered during a review of 18 museum collections across Wales.

Beverley Cook, curator (social and working history) at the Museum of London will talk about the institution’s rationalisation project.

A joint session delivered by conservator Simon Moore and pest management experts David Pinniger and Bob Child will provide an in-depth insight into dealing with infestations. It will address three key areas: repairing damaged items; existing and emerging pest threats; and the measures that can be taken to prevent infestations.
Nicola Sullivan, online publications manager at the Museums Association, says: “Collections care remains central to a museum’s work, and many institutions are exploring how they can maintain and build on what is still one of their most important assets. This is no easy feat when cuts to public funding are leading to a hollowing out of the sector. This seminar will shed light on how external challenges and new thinking are influencing museums’ work in this area.”


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