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Museum2Museum collection care session at the Powell Cotton Museum a great success

On Monday 17th March, 12 museum staff and volunteers from across the county joined the team at the Powell Cotton Museum for their first Museum2Museum sharing skills session.

The day began with Sarah Brown and Keiko Higashi, Project Officers for the 'Securing the Future of our Past' project giving a brief overview and background to the work they are doing.  It was great to hear about the project and their plans to redevelop a fairly old-fashioned gallery in order to widen the diversity of the Powell-Cotton Museum's audience and increase access to the collection. Central to this idea is to make the new gallery an area for research, play and interactive learning for all ages. 

The decant of the current gallery took place in December 2013 and January 2014, and the team came across many Collection Management and Care issues through the process.  This included making sure their location & movement control procedures were clear and suitable for the task; that the team of volunteers recruited for the project had enough object handling and packing training; and encountering various pests and other conservation issues.

View Sarah and Keiko's Prezi presentation below:

The group then got the opportunity to handle some of the items from the museum's handling collection, such as a leopard skin, a crocodile and turtle and an orangutan's skull.  Their task was to inspect the items for signs of damage or potential damage that may arise from placing these items on open display in the new gallery.

The afternoon break-off sessions included object packing (led by Sarah) and pests (led by Bob Child of Historyoncis).  Both gave delegates further information and practical hands on opportunities.

The day was a great opportunity for the team to share their ideas and plans with their museum peers, to network and to pass on the lessons learned so far.  

You can download Sarah and Keiko's handouts on Location & Movement Control and Object Handling here.  You can also see more images and ideas from the team on their Pinterest page and on Facebook.  Or follow the Twitter hashtag #SFPproject to keep up to date with progress.

The Kent & Medway MDO and the Project Team at the Powell Cotton Museum are planning a further M2M session later in the year, this time focusing on the handling collection.  Keep checking out our training pages for further details.