Monday 26th & Tuesday 27th June
Science and natural history collections include objects, specimens, models and illustrations which are a goldmine of useful information and inspiration. They are immensely popular with the public, but are often cared for by non-specialists who can perceive them as difficult to work with. There is a danger that these collections can be forgotten, underused and undervalued.
Join us for this one and a half day conference looking at the innovative ways in which collections are being used. Speakers from historic collections across Europe will be joining us to discuss best practise in the use of scientific and natural history collections. We will be exploring ways to connect people to collections for greatest impact.
We have an interesting programme of talks from expert speakers in three sessions: ‘Connecting collections and breaking isolation’, ‘Reaching out to new audiences’ and ‘New meanings through art, history and research’.
Dr. Tim Boon, Science Museum Group. ‘Science Museum Group Research and the Interdisciplinary Culture of Collections’
Mark Carnall, Oxford University Museum of Natural History. ‘Not real, not worth it?’
Dr Caroline Cornish, Royal Holloway, University of London. ‘Useful or curious’? Reinventing Kew’s Museum of Economic Botany’
Jocelyn Dodd, University of Leicester. ‘Encountering the Unexpected: natural heritage collections & successful aging’
Prof. Dirk van Delft, Boerhaave Museum. ‘Real bones for teaching medicine’
Dr. Martha Flemming, V&A Museum. Title TBC
Dr Petra Tjitske Kalshoven, The University of Manchester. ‘The manikin in taxidermy: modelling conceptions of nature’.
Henry McGhie, Manchester Museum. ‘Beyond ‘natural history’: museums for the 21st century’
Dr. Laurens de Rooy, Museum Vrolik, Medical and natural history collections as historical objects: a change of perspective?
Dr. Marjan Scharloo, Teylers Museum. Title TBC
Dr. Cornelia Weber, Coordination Centre for Scientific University Collections in Germany. ‘Back to the Roots: University Collections as Infrastructure for Research and Teaching’
Prof. Yves Winkin, Musée des arts et métiers. ‘An amateur director, professional curators, and a desire for a cabinet of curiosities’
To book a place please visit the Manchester Museum eventbrite page
The conference is part of the programming to support Object Lessons, our upcoming exhibition celebrating the scientific model and illustration collection of George Loudon. Each of these finely crafted objects was created for the purpose of understanding the natural world through education, demonstration and display. This exhibition combines Loudon’s collection with models from Manchester Museum and World Museum, Liverpool. The conference is generously supported by the Wellcome Collection.
The Association of British Transport & Engineering Museums (ABTEM) has recently appointed the International Railway Heritage Consultancy (IRHC) to work with them to produce new guidelines for museums and private collectors with larger and working objects. The guidelines will cover stationary engines, industrial machinery, road vehicles, aircraft, railway vehicles, ships, boats and other working items.
Standards first published by the former Museums & Galleries Commission have been used widely by specialists and non-specialists alike since they were first published in 1994, but after two decades of experience now need updating.
The project is supported by grant from the Arts Council England through their Museum Resilience funding stream that enables museums to become more sustainable.
We are looking for interested parties such as individual curators, conservators or staff from museums with large or working objects in their collections that would be able to feed into the process by either responding to questionnaire or submitting case studies that illustrate the decision-making process and conservation ethos of a particular treatment.
Selected case studies will be included in the new guidelines, available at the end of 2017.
The guidelines will be widely publicised and promoted, including through a programme of seminars scheduled between October 2017 and March 2018.
For further information contact Efstathios Tsolis, Associate Consultant, email email@example.com, tel. +44 (0) 7726419551
For more information about ABTEM visit http://www.abtem.co.uk/
For more information about IRHC visit http://www.internationalrailheritage.com
For more information about ACE visit http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/
(Are Museums Running out of Staff, Space and Time?)
For a number of years Historic England has supported the gathering of information on local authority staffing levels in planning and Historic Environment Record (HER) services but there has been no concomitant survey of museums, despite such institutions supporting archaeological project work through the curation of archive material.
The first of three annual reports commissioned by Historic England and produced by the Society for Museum Archaeology (SMA) has now been released, using quantitative and qualitative data gathered by online survey from 200 respondents in England that represent museums which collect or hold archaeological material.
From The National Archives and Research Libraries UK :
What: The Cultural Value of Collections and the Creative Economy
When: Monday, 27th – Wednesday, 29th November 2017
Where: The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ
The National Archives and Research Libraries UK are delighted to announce the call for papers for this year’s Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities conference to be held between 27 and 29 November 2017 at the Lowry, Salford Quays, Manchester.
The conference will bring together colleagues from across the heritage, library, and academic sectors, in a vibrant and inclusive setting. We will discuss ways of enhancing cross-sector collaboration, collectively seizing new opportunities, and facing joint challenges.
Call for Papers
In today’s uncertain political and economic climate the ability to demonstrate why heritage and culture matter – and to whom – has never been more important or relevant. The ways in which we gather, measure and present evidence of cultural value and impact has attracted increasing attention in recent years, as emphasis has led to a stronger focus on the experience of individuals and of communities.
Archives, libraries, museums and heritage organisations across the UK and further afield have played a leading role in this movement. They have actively looked to examine, capture and measure the wider social, cultural and economic impact of their collections, and to engage more effectively with a wider variety of audiences. Work in this area continues to evolve, as does the need for new and better ways of evidencing value and impact through continuing research and the effective sharing of experiences within and between sectors.
DCDC17 will consider how, by working collaboratively through networks of inter and cross-disciplinary initiatives, we can continue to improve and develop methodologies in order to build a strong evidence base to demonstrate the cultural value of collections and their contribution to the creative economy.
The main conference themes will include, but are not limited to, the following:
DCDC welcomes proposals on collaborative projects involving library, archive, museum, heritage and cultural sectors in partnership with the academic sector, communities, education and funders.
For 2017, we would particularly be interested on submissions within the following themes:
- Heritage and the human experience: hidden voices, social cohesion, diversity and public wellbeing
- The cultural landscape: heritage buildings, regeneration, and engaging audiences with real and imagined environments
- Curative collections: understanding and reflecting voices in conflict, dissent, displacement, repatriation and recovery
- New value in old things: opening up collections through original research, heritage science, the internet, and digital technology
- Collections and enterprise: the challenges and opportunities of utilising collections for revenue generation, managing the relationship between culture and the corporate, and overcoming the hurdles of copyright
- Innovative interpretations: presenting traditional collections to new audiences through art, design, and performance
- Measuring value: Holistic value frameworks, benchmarking, cultural and academic partnerships, impact, and the REF
- The politics of collections: advocacy for collections, funding, institutional and community support and investment.
The conference organisers invite abstracts for the delivery of 20-minute presentations. 10 minutes will be allowed for questions after each presentation.
The conference organisers also invite the submission of abstracts for panel proposals. Panels should include three 20-minute papers and include a named panel chair. They can be submitted on any pertinent topic within the conference theme and can include papers relating to an individual project, emerging initiative, or ‘state of the nation’ overview.
Workshops & roundtables
As part of DCDC17 the organisers also welcome proposals for:
Practical workshops on (but not limited to):
- funding and sustainability
- interactive projects
- education & outreach
- Roundtable sessions by professional networks & societies
All workshops should involve a high level of interactivity and/or training which should be clearly demonstrated in the abstract.
Roundtable sessions should include no more than five speakers speaking for five minutes each. We encourage professional networks and societies to lead on these sessions discussing issues relevant to the conference theme.
Both workshops and roundtables should be open to all conference delegates and require no prior knowledge or preparation.
All submissions should be presented in the following format in a word document as an email attachment:
- Name, job title and organisation of speaker/s
- Presentation/panel/seminar title
- A summary of no more than 100 words (this will be printed in the conference programme)
- A more detailed abstract of no more than 300 words
- Any scheduling conflicts for speakers
Any submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with the conference organisers.
The V&A are offering free places to museum colleagues from across the country to attend two symposiums in the next few months:
The Many Careers of John Lockwood Kipling
Saturday 25 February, 14:00-17:15
This event explores the many careers of John Lockwood Kipling: designer, illustrator, journalist, art school teacher and museum director.
Supported by the Kipling Society
This conference, timed to coincide with the exhibition at the V&A, will explore the international contexts of Kipling’s work and his legacy today. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Supported by the Kipling Society
Garnitures: Vases in Interiors
Friday 17 March, 10.00-17.15
This international symposium explores the phenomenon of garnitures or matching sets of vases and the way in which they are used in the European interior. Displayed above chimneypieces, cabinets and cupboards or over doorways, they embellished or ‘garnished’ the interior and enhanced the status of the owner
To book a free place please contact Matilda Pye at email@example.com or 02079422205
Hospitium, York Museum Gardens
Friday 24th February 2017
10:00 – 16:00
The Study Day will be a gathering of museum professionals, scholars, researchers, and enthusiasts to launch YMT’s ‘Old Collections, New Questions’ research project, an Arts Council England supported initiative to reinvestigate the Roman collections held by York Museums Trust. These numismatic and archaeological collections have Designated status, meaning that they have national and international significance.
This project seeks to investigate what new information modern research interests, methods, and values can reveal about these collections. The research produced will allow York Museums Trust to use these long-standing collections in new, innovative, and engaging ways, ensuring that their full potential is met.
The Study Day will introduce attendees to the Roman collections, highlight their research potential, and explore the avenues offered by modern research approaches. The resulting discussions will steer the course of the project, allowing YMT curators to set short-term and long-term research goals, and giving researchers the opportunity to further their own expertise.
You can register to attend here and places are limited, so please let us know if your plans to attend change.
As part of the on-going major review of the National Trust Museum of Childhood’s collection, the National Trust have identified and assessed a large number of objects as being ‘irrelevant’ to the museum’s collection. These include adult costume, household items, furniture and many other miscellaneous items.
Click here to see the list: objects-available-nov-2016
If an object has a ‘CMS’ number it can be used to search on www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk
A few costume items do not have numbers and say ‘not on CMS’. This means they’re not on the online catalogue but Sue Fraser can provide images of the item. Some objects have already been selected (highlighted in yellow – these may possibly still be available).
If anything appeals to you for your collections, please contact Sue Fraser (Collections Assistant) on firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the success of the ABTEM autumn seminar, we are pleased to be supporting the National Waterways Museum in running an additional meeting on 7th December 2016 at Ellesmere Port.
Using the Canal & River Trust boat collection as a case study the day will focus on the realities and challenges of managing large object collections for the long term. Caring for large, industrial and operational objects in museum collections presents unique challenges and none more than boats in water.
Although the focus of the meeting will naturally be on boat collections, the day will be of interest to anyone facing challenges of managing large and working objects. It will look at approaches to conservation and how to decide which route to take. It will also be applicable to anyone who has to deal with the over-enthusiastic collecting of previous curators, and approaches to reviewing and rationalising collections that have become unsustainable.
To find out more, and book a place, please visit the eventbrite page.
Applications for the third round of the Art Fund’s New Collecting Awards are now being accepted.
By offering 100% of the funding required for collecting projects of the highest quality, the scheme enables curators to expand museum collections of fine art, design or visual culture into exciting new areas, or deepen existing holdings in imaginative ways. Each awardee also receives a generous funding allocation towards research, travel and training costs, and the ongoing support of a dedicated mentor.
Over the last two years 11 curators have received a New Collecting Award, for acquisition projects ranging from Soviet numismatic material to light-based art. Prospective applicants may wish to note that the majority of previous awards have been for modern and contemporary holdings, and whilst we welcome further applications in these areas, we are also keen to encourage curators with an interest in historic collections to apply.