Supported by grants from the Charlotte Bonham-Carter Charitable Trust and the Marlay Group, the CONSERV’D project plans to transform documentation procedures and practices within the Conservation department at the Fitzwilliam Museum. This will significantly improve the efficiency and sustainability of our work and, ultimately, the accessibility of the collections for scholars, students and the public.
Conservation and Scientific Research documentation that is reliable, accessible, securely stored and sustainable is a vital resource. It reduces the need for object handling, aids the selection of areas for sampling (original vs. retouched/contaminated areas), and helps us detect and understand changes in the object’s condition over time. It also helps us assess the efficacy of conservation materials and treatments and feeds into collection-based studies at the Museum.
There is strong international interest currently in the way that museums deal with this type of documentation, with projects aiming to utilise new developments in digital recording and facilitate linking of data at various levels. CONSERV’D will enable us make an important contribution towards both internal short-term and strategic goals, and broader long-term goals to feed into international developments.
Jennifer Marchant, Conservator of Antiquities will be leading the research and development of new documentation systems and, as a member of the Institute for Conservation Documentation Network (ICON DN), will be looking at how our work can link with the wider conservation community.