AIM members from small and medium size museums are eligible to apply to the AIM Preventive Conservation Grant Scheme and the AIM Conservation Grant Scheme. Both schemes are generously supported by The Pilgrim Trust and the next round of applications closes on 31 March 2016.
If you would like to improve your conservation skills or to chat to an AIM member of staff about our conservation grants, don’t forget that we are offering free collections care workshops funded by The Pilgrim Trust over the next couple of months. Details about these workshops can be found here: AIM Collections Care Workshops
Since these grant schemes started, hundreds of AIM member museums and heritage sites have benefited, and both schemes have been set up to help develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections. To check your eligibility and for further information, please see the AIM website: AIM Grant Schemes.
Please note that the typical grant awarded is £5,000 or under. If you have any questions about these grants, please email: email@example.com
We like to showcase examples of successful applicants, so that anyone thinking of applying can see the type of conservation work that AIM has previously funded. The following is a report from The Powell-Cotton Museum who received an AIM Preventative Conservation grant of £8,942.
The Powell-Cotton Museum houses a world-class collection of natural history and ethnographic material from Asia and Africa, mostly collected by the Museum’s founder Percy Powell-Cotton, collected 1890-1939. The museum’s research collection of skins is housed in ‘the Workshops’. These rooms contain over 4000 animal skins, housed mainly in wooden crates and drawers, constructed in the early 20th century.
Over the last decade, the spaces have suffered increased problems with clothes moths, which have begun to damage the collections. The aim of this project was to eradicate the pest problem through the freezing of the skin specimens, the deep-cleaning of the space and the fixing of the damaged floor, which created cavities in which pests could live. The grant also enabled the purchase of metal storage furniture for the lower workshop, so that surfaces could be kept clear of clutter and the spaces made easier to keep clean.
The majority of the project has been undertaken by a group of volunteers who worked one day a week for nearly 2 years, wrapping all the specimens in plastic and freezing them in the walk-in freezer the museum purchased as part of this project. The volunteers also undertook a lot of the cleaning, assisted by the museum’s housekeeping and collections teams. Help also came from the Natural History Museum (NHM), who allowed free use of their large freezer and offered expert IPM advice. Experts were also brought in to recondition and seal the floors and to assist with the move of large specimens to and from the NHM freezers.
The project has led to a massive reduction in pests within the space, down to acceptable levels. We are now working with the NHM to trial a new form of moth repellent, which we hope to roll out across the museum if it is successful. The project has also provided the opportunity to fully audit the skin collection, providing us with an up to date inventory and a better knowledge of our natural history collections.