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What's happening at our Museums? (Part 3)

14 August 13 -- jsuess

Grab a taste of some of our Conservation activities that have been happening at our museum over the last quarter (April-June 2013).

Once in a Whale @MusuemofNaturalHistory

A highlight for the Museum of Natural History Conservation team has been the 'Once in a Whale' project. Not only has excellent progress been made on cleaning and restoring the specimens, but the associated blog has gone viral, going completely international and being particularly popular in the UK, America, Canada and Australia.  The blog has featured in the Museums Journal as the 'Best of the Blogs' for July 2013. The blog has provided documentation of the whole treatment process, but also the team's decision making; not only how the specimens have been treated, but why the team chose certain courses of treatment and materials used. It has provided a source of information for Conservators working (or about to embark) on similar projects.

Adhesives Research @PittRivers
Conservators at the Pitt Rivers are working on collaborative research with the Oxford University Research Laboratory for Archaeology and Art History to investigate solvent removal methods for conservation adhesives in the preparation of samples for carbon dating.

Sharing Knowledge @Ashmolean
The Ashmolean's Head of Conservation has advised external consultants on issues relating to the conservation and display of salvaged sculpture for the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter.  The Ashmolean team has also advised colleagues from the Bate Collection about environmental control, and colleagues from the Bodleian on case design for the new exhibition galleries.  The team also hosted collections managers from UCL to discuss the museum's new conservation labs and Egypt Galleries, and colleagues from Harvard Art Museum to carry out analysis on ceramics and discuss the Museum's Conservation Galleries and the department's outreach activities.

Captain Cook @PittRivers

The Pitt Rivers conservation team continue to collaborate with project partners from the University of Bristol, British Museum and DEFRA on the Cook Project. Work is recorded and shared via the Conserving Curiosities blog.

Sharing Knowledge @PittRivers
The Pitt Rivers conservation team is collaborating with Cranfield University Forensics Department to identify blood splatter on 18th century Tahitian barkcloth. They are working with the Smithsonian Institute on research into Hawaiian barkcloth. They are hosting a MSc in conversation from the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, on a five month placement, and a one year ICON internship funded by the HLF.

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