Tuesday, August 9, 2016

An enjoyable and educative experience

Always keen to learn something new I grabbed an opportunity to attend a workshop, Care of Collections, yesterday at Preservation Australia.

While the workshop was aimed at those working with collections in libraries and museums  I learnt so much to help me manage and preserve the files, documents and artefacts in my home collection.

The workshop led by Kay Soderlund was held in the studios of Preservation Australia in Annandale, an inner suburb of Sydney. The venue is close to the many buses that run along Parramatta Road and not far from Stanmore station. Indeed my fellow participants who came from Malaysia, Singleton, the Central Coast, and several Sydney suburbs all commented on the convenient location.

Kay Soderlund at Preservation Australia

Tools of the Trade
After a welcome cuppa and getting to know you session we all perched on high chairs around a work table to hear Kay’s presentation. We were given a 22 page handout which provided a structure for the day's workshop. Kay’s deep knowledge of her subject was evident as she spoke to us throughout the day, she had plenty of pictures for us to see and many materials for us to handle. As one who loves words I found some of the terms associated with the subject area fascinating. New words and acronyms in my vocabulary include foxing, red rot, EMC, IPM, fatty spew, blunder traps, frass and picric acid.
Tools of the trade

As it was a small group/workshop we were able to engage in much discussion and interrupt Kay whenever we had a question or comment. We were not deluged with chalk and talk, we learnt in an informal, interactive environment with welcome breaks for a delicious morning tea and lunch.

As the day  progressed I realised just how much stuff I have in my home collection, I got tips on looking after the few original artworks we have, great-great-grandfather’s shillelagh, Jesus (a large 19th century tapestry done by a family member), family bibles, documents, medals and a heirloom christening dress. Having attended this course I am now confident about selecting appropriate enclosures for my treasures. This course should be an essential element of the Professional Development program for anyone (paid or voluntary) involved in the care of local collections.

Of course this is going to cost me money as I am now drawing up a shopping list of items to purchase from Conservation Resources, the retail arm of Preservation Australia.

Thanks Kay and team for an enjoyable and educative experience.


Bribie Family History Association said...

As an archivist I have worked closely with conservators and courses like this can help those with family treasures at home. Might be something to look at again next August and NFHM 2017

Susie Zada said...

I've attended similar sessions in Victoria and I agree with you - although aimed at small museums etc. they provide a wealth of information for individuals in caring for their own precious family history items. Would recommend that anyone who can attend similar sessions should do so!

GeniAus said...

I'd love to find an economical way of bringing this sort of training to cash strapped museums, societies and individuals.

Crissouli said...

I have included your blog in Interesting Blogs on Friday Fossicking at…


Thank you, Chris


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