Remedial Conservation Needs Assessment
Julian Porter, Chair
Title of Project
Strategic Support Fund: Remedial Conservation Needs Assessment (Kent, Sussex & Surrey) Pilot Project
November 2012 – March 2013
What was the Project aim/s?
To evaluate and map the remedial conservation needs for museums of all sizes across the two sub-regions and follow up with site specific practical advice and intervention. To establish a long-term support network for collections care so that the skills and expertise developed by the project can be retained and shared.
For more information, see the CSI blog.
What was the impact of the project?
The pilot confirmed that assistance with conservation was required across the two sub-regions. It established that there was a good level of understanding of the conservation needs of the collections curators were familiar with. We were able to gather vital data on collections and collections care. It provided a bank on conservation material at the regional labs.
The project provided high quality training for staff and volunteers. It created a network and precedent for managing a project across the two sub-regions. This work laid the foundations for future projects.
What went well and what didn’t go well?
The Roadshows proved to be a very successful and an effective way to get museums to participate and arrange site visits. The training provided towards the end of the project was felt to be of a high standard and very useful.
The very short lead-in time to the project meant that the cross-county network developed as the project went along rather than at the planning stage. Perhaps more time should have been spent on developing a budgetary framework; this was complicated by a change of treasurer and signatories during the project. Although everyone coped the conservators did feel that they had to deal with a very heavy administrative burden.
Branding became a little confused, the conservator’s brand was perhaps too overpowering while the steering-group did not have one. The branding also caused some confusion over the intended audience for the project; it sometimes looked like a public facing project rather than for the museums themselves.
- A longer lead-in time is required and more opportunities to consult with partners in preparation for the start of the project.
- Try not to change treasurers during a project!
- Roadshows can be an important way of reaching participants.
What are your plans for the future?
As this was a pilot, and in our view a successful one, another bid to follow up on the recommendations of this project’s report.
In the longer term more collections based projects and data-gathering, in participation with the MDOs, so that a more detailed picture of the two sub-region’s museums can be made.
Overall Cost of Project