The following is an account from the Tudor House, Worcester, on how an AIM conservation grant of £2,651.28 has helped to purchase much needed conservation equipment.
16th century Tudor House Worcester is a lovely timber-framed building but presents a challenge when hoping to display museum collections. In 2013 the Board of the volunteer-run museum decided to apply for Accreditation for the first time. When the AIM grant was awarded, it represented a major step along this path.
The collections management document now needed to be rewritten – it was no longer a wish-list of what we hoped to do to achieve professional standards, but a statement of fact: the environmental conditions could be monitored, and tempered. We bought Tiny Tags monitors, a dehumidifier, pest traps and a case.
As a direct result of this, we were able to further develop our relationship with the local authority museum service. Now we were able to state what our museum’s environmental conditions were, and that an integrated pest management system was in place.
On the strength of this we were able to borrow artefacts from the social history collection for a temporary display. This we hope will be the first such collaboration, and as part of Worcester’s WW1 HLF bid we have agreed to take other museums’ exhibitions too, which made having a secure display case all the more important.
The last part of the scheme is for the curator to give talks to the volunteers about agents of decay and Integrated Pest Management.
There were two lessons learned from this process: one was not to over-extend, doing too many grant applications at once whilst preparing for Accreditation, and the other was to factor in making time as well as delivery time for the case. It was a huge step forward to be awarded the AIM grant, our biggest, and a valuable confirmation that as a museum we were heading in the right direction.
Elizabeth Pimblett, Consultant Curator Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tudor House website: http://www.tudorhouseworcester.org.uk/