This week three members of our collections team were lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to York to attend “Stop the Rot”: An introduction to collection care. It was held at The Quilt Museum and Gallery by the ‘Association of Independent Museums’. They met staff and volunteers from other museums across the North and spent the day learning about different approaches to collections management. The course, delivered by Jane Thompson Webb, covered how to identify the major causes of deterioration in objects in our collections and the best ways to limit the decay. They learnt that the main agents of decay are Direct Physical Force, Theft and Vandalism, Fire, Water and Pests. They found that a lot of ways of protecting objects are not particularly practical for the kind of environment that Beamish is, particularly when objects are in exhibits, on site. Striving to keep collections in a moderate environment and having regular monitoring was deemed most appropriate for our museum. The importance of testing fire alarms and having disaster plans in place was also noted. It wasn’t all doom, gloom and decay, however, they were also able to view the many beautiful quilts on display in the museum! They were really pleased to have the chance to attend the day and now feel further equipped in helping care for our brilliant selection of objects at Beamish, making sure they will be around for generations to come!
Here’s an unusual Easter post – showing how in Durham in the 1950s industry carried on, holiday or no holiday!
These photographs from Beamish’s archive show workmen replacing a severely cracked winding drum crank over an Easter weekend at Silksworth Colliery around 1950.