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Dealing with Mould at The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Museum Name

Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Museum Contact

Claire McQuillan

Dates of training

14th October 2015

What was the impact of the training?

This day was mainly practical hands on sessions aimed at staff and volunteers. The instigation for the training was discovery of a mould outbreak in the Curators' store. The objects were due to be moved but needed assessing and cleaning beforehand. Because the task involved a large number of objects, it was decided it would be a good opportunity to get volunteers involved and give them the skills and confidence in not only dealing with mould, but also assessing objects, documentation and safe object handling.

At the beginning of the day, Siobhan Barratt gave a half hour session on what mould was; why it appears and what conditions encourage its growth; what damage it can cause and to what: health and safety issues involved. The group then used the collection as a training tool and started work on how to handle, document and clean objects made of different materials. It was an ideal training situation as the collection is very mixed, but generally fairly robust. The group managed to clean about 30% of the collection and all the volunteers left with a good understanding of the methods and the confidence to continue with the project.

What went well and what didn’t go well?

The museum was able to provide a good working space with good light and ventilation. There was also a small budget to cover costs of materials.

The volunteers involved all previously has volunteered at the museum but working on very different projects, so this was a first introduction to more conservation focused work.

Top Tips

Keep the day as practical as possible and learn through doing.

What are your plans for the future?

Claire hopes this work will continue in the future and further dates will be planned in to complete the store project. Ii is hoped that it will also encourage volunteers to become more interested and involved in conservation projects at the museum.