We’re getting philosophical as we try to figure out when conservators choose NOT to do something. What influences our decisions? When can we say no? Also tune in for an interview with Jonathan Ashley-Smith about uncertainty and ethics, and a Dear Jane about internships.
00:00:40 What are some of the reasons we don’t do something?
00:20:27 Good intentions and self-belief
00:27:30 Interview with Jonathan Ashley-Smith
00:56:27 Do ethics guide or get in the way?
01:07:06 What makes something a priority?
01:11:41 Palliative care for objects
01:14:08 Dear Jane
01:18:04 Patreon shout out
We don some hard hats and crane our necks as we talk large objects with special guest host Simon Stephens: from machinery and figureheads to tanks and planes. What are some of the unique challenges associated with really big stuff? Also tune in for a special tour of the Science Museum store at Wroughton, a Dear Jane about what to see in Florence, and a review of ’The Conservation of Sculpture Parks.’
00:00:48 What counts as ’big stuff’ exactly?
00:06:01 Taking stuff apart, hazards, and other considerations
00:16:30 Swapping the B72 for epoxy
00:18:42 Displaying and moving oversize museum collections
00:33:09 Behind the scenes tour with Simon and Kloe
00:57:33 Guidance and resources
00:59:09 Monuments, sites, and buildings
01:01:04 Review: ’The Conservation of Sculpture Parks’
01:06:07 Dear Jane
01:12:14 Comments, questions and corrections: two announcements and a correction
Additional Resources from Simon:
– Andrew, Patricia’ Ball, Stephen, and Winsor, Peter (2009) Larger & Working Objects: A Guide to Standards in their Preservation and Care (London: Collections Trust). Available from collectionstrust.org.uk
– Ball, Stephen and Winsor, Peter ed. (1997) Larger & Working Objects: A guide to their preservation and care (London: Museums and Galleries Commission). Available from collectionstrust.org.uk
– British Aviation Preservation Council. Stopping the Rot. Conference Proceedings on the Conservation of Aviation Collections. Available from bapc.org.uk
– Dollery, Diane and Henderson, Jane, eds. (1999) Industrial collections: care and conservation. [Industrial Collections: Care and Conservation]. Cardiff: Council of Museums in Wales and United Kingdom Institute for Conservation. Available from orca.cf.ac.uk
– Mitchell, J. S. (2014) Collection, Curatorship and Conservation of Large Objects, STICK, Industrial Museums Scotland. Available from stickssn.org
– Meehan, Peter (2001) Management of Large Objects at the Science Museum, Wroughton (V&A Conservation Journal Spring 2001 Issue 37). Available from vam.ac.uk
– Mikesh, R. C. (1990) Preserving unsheltered exhibit aircraft. Transport Museums: Yearbook of the International Association of Transport Museums, p. 45
– Prytulak, George (1991) The Treatment of Rusted Machinery in Preparation for Surface Coating. J.IIC-CG VOLUME 16. Available from cac-accr.ca
Join us for an episode all about diversity: guest host Aly Singh shares her own experiences while Jenny wrestles with class and Kloe tries to find practical solutions. We talk to Hannah Cobb about the CIfA Equality & Diversity Group, to Sam Evans about class in the museum workforce, and to Michelle McGrath and Kathleen Lawther about Museum As Muck. Also tune in for a Dear Jane clarifying calibration quandaries and a special give away announcement!
00:02:15 Data sources and acronyms
00:08:16 We get fighty about class
00:15:26 Aly’s experiences
00:21:05 Let’s have fair labour practices, guys
00:26:38 Making people feel safe
00:35:20 Are apprenticeships the solution?
00:42:39 Interview with Hannah Cobb
00:56:30 Broadening our own horizons
01:01:00 Interview with Sam Evans
01:15:38 Interview with Museum as Muck
01:23:46 Dear Jane
01:28:16 Special announcement!
01:29:13 Patreon shout out
In this episode we talk about how the Arduino can be useful to conservators and how people are using it in museums already. Jenny talks to Dr David Mills and Mark Hellar about using the Arduino in conservation, and Christina chats to Bhav Shah about machine learning and much more. Also tune in for a Dear Jane about PhD dreams.
00:00:47 Wait, what is this?
00:12:09 Jenny goes to an Arduino workshop
00:14:38 Interview with Dr David Mills
00:19:27 Pros and cons of building it yourself
00:22:33 Why museums adopt tech
00:27:52 Interview with Mark Hellar
00:39:35 Virtual assistants
00:46:04 Interview with Bhav Shah
01:05:45 Uses for machine learning in museums
01:16:50 Are we going to be replaced by robots?
01:26:02 Dear Jane
01:28:29 Patreon shout out
Join us as we browse through the remarkable collections held in archives together with special guest host Meagen Smith: we talk about the joys of paper and the unique aspects of working with these items. Jenny also chats to archivist Ruth Cummins and our conservation agony aunt tackles a question about landing an internship in ‘Dear Jane.’
00:00:39 News in brief
00:03:05 What’s an archive, anyway?
00:08:52 Beyond paper – what do archives collect?
00:15:56 Decision making and conservation
00:31:29 Nobody believes Jenny about chickens with trousers
00:33:35 Masculine history and addressing the balance
00:36:50 More odd things found in archives
00:43:33 How do we limit damage from use?
00:48:00 Resources to check out
00:50:01 Interview with Ruth Cummins
00:56:28 Dear Jane
01:04:11 Comments, questions, and corrections
01:04:32 Patreon shout out
Together with guest host Lorraine Finch we turn out our pockets, peer into our piggy banks, and root around the back of the sofa for some spare change: how can we make our money go a little further? Conservators are often cash-strapped and we have a chat about everything from sourcing lab equipment to finding cheaper conservation supplies. Also tune in for a review of ’Magnetic Mounting Systems for Museums & Cultural Institutions’ by Gwen Spicer.
00:00:47 News in brief
00:08:30 Budgets and cash flow in conservation
00:11:51 Equipment: borrowing, hiring, and pooling together
00:17:59 Delivery costs and ways around them
00:25:08 Other ways of finding equipment
00:33:04 Getting supplies for less: quality vs price
00:43:27 Repurposing things we’ve already got
00:49:12 What about chemicals?
00:56:48 Could we share books and literature more?
00:59:15 A message from Christina
01:03:33 Review: ’Magnetic Mounting Systems for Museums & Cultural Institutions’
01:12:52 Patreon shout-out
Join us for a special episode when Jenny, Kloe, and Christina all go to Belfast for the ICON triennial conference, #Icon19! (Please note: this episode has VERY varied audio quality throughout due to different recording settings.) Travel with us to the Belfast Waterfront Centre, join us for the opening reception, come along to the pub, listen to our frantic recaps, and have a listen to the talk we gave on the second day of the conference.
00:00:25 The journey begins
00:09:45 Opening reception shenanigans
00:13:44 Day one
00:35:36 Let’s go to the pub!
00:40:15 Day two
00:41:57 Our talk
00:55:31 What was your favourite bit?
01:00:10 Final thoughts from us
How and why should conservators publish their work? Who are we trying to reach and why does it matter? Kloe quite likes the established conference paper or journal article routes while Jenny prefers Twitter papers, blogs, and methods without paywalls. Christina tries to demystify the publication world and talks us through the stages of publishing a traditional article. Also tune in for a review of ‘Cultural Heritage Marketing: A Relationship Marketing Approach to Conservation Services’ by Izabella Parowicz, and a Dear Jane about mid-career futures.
00:00:40 News in brief
00:15:16 Perceptions from university
00:24:05 Considering your audience
00:34:48 We need students!
00:36:18 Finding the time
00:41:18 How do you publish an article?
00:57:44 Conservation abstract databases
01:00:19 Open source publishing
01:02:22 Review: ’Cultural Heritage Marketing – A Relationship Marketing Approach to Conservation Services’
01:06:49 Dear Jane
01:15:22 Questions, comments, and corrections
We talk about the importance of touch: intentional and sometimes unintentional touching, what touch means to us as conservation professionals, and how we can facilitate access (particularly for visually impaired audiences). How do you go about setting up a touch tour? How do we encourage or discourage touch? Christina interviews Liz Pye about her work around touch and object handling, and we’ve got a couple of reviews of the recent AIC conference too!
00:00:21 Touch and handling where we work
00:16:34 Setting up a touch tour
00:36:48 But what about damage?
00:40:22 Why is our touch allowed?
00:44:06 Replicas for handling
00:45:48 Professional touch
00:50:23 Interview with Liz Pye
01:14:16 Reviews of AIC conference
01:30:16 Patreon shout-out
Please take a seat in the waiting area as we have a little chat about the all-important topic of portfolios as part of recruiting conservators: what makes a good one, what format should it be, and what do we put in ours? We’re joined by guest host Julia Jabłońska, an emerging paintings conservator, as we try to figure out what people want. Also tune in for an interview with Tamsin Russell from the Museums Association about interview confidence, a Dear Jane about PhD studies, and a special guest review from William Tregaskes of ’Always Time for Coffee’ by Kate Minchin.
00:00:39 News in brief
00:08:23 So what are conservation portfolios?
00:12:13 Academic work vs employment portfolio
00:16:42 Inspiration and anxiety
00:19:42 Do you put ’personality’ into yours?
00:36:31 Going digital
00:40:37 Twitter responses
00:52:55 Review of EPN portfolio workshop
00:55:38 Interview with Tamsin Russell, professional development officer
01:07:34 Review: ‘Always Time for Coffee’
01:12:20 Dear Jane
01:18:41 Patreon shout out
01:19:47 Comments, questions, and corrections