BACKING NEWPORT: Volunteers make city’s history come alive

Friends of Newport Ship

Very many thanks to the South Wales Argus for publishing this piece that Newport’s heritage groups put together to highlight how heritage is doing its bit to draw visitors into Newport.

See the full article (and all the pictures!) here

Philip Cox, re-elected chairman of Friends of Newport Ship, writes about Newport’s Heritage for the Argus campaign We’re Backing Newport. From the Medieval Ship to the Transporter Bridge, the city has lots to offer.

“Our rich heritage is fascinating, and each site is deliciously intertwined with others. Newport Museum holds many key artefacts for the projects that are ‘owned’ by the city, the Museum itself, the Medieval Ship and the Transporter Bridge, plus it links with Roman Caerleon, Caerwent and Fourteen Locks; a veritable ‘string of pearls’ with which Newport is blessed.

Our maritime trading history is enriched by the many vessels found on the fringes of the Severn Estuary…

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A DIY Brush Rest

Cover to Cover

It is a truth universally acknowledged* that a brush covered with adhesive must be placed somewhere. And if you’re like me, it drives you slightly insane when it’s placed on something and promptly rolls off, smearing said adhesive over your work surface. Fear not! Your troubles are over! I present to you a handy-dandy brush rest that can be made in pretty much any conservation lab or studio in which you may be working, and which can be made in under a minute. I am sure I’m not the only one who has come up with this, but I thought I would share it anyway.

Step 1: Begin with a scrap piece of cardstock. I prefer something like 20-point; you want it to be stiff, but easily folded. Trim it to about 1.5″ x 1.5″.

2016-09-06-17-34-45 Step 1.

Step 2: Fold cardstock in half.

2016-09-06-17-35-21 Step 2.

Step 3: Take a pair of…

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Chloe Pearce Conservation

Çatalhöyük is located in the Konya Plain, approximately 45km from Konya. It is a Neolithic settlement first inhabited in 7,4000 BCE. The landscape consisted largely of wetland, rather than the contrasting dust and farmland we see today. In July I spent around three weeks on site helping out the conservation department.

My experience to date has been limited to working within the lab at Cardiff University. Here, the environment is managed. In the lab on site there was no such control. In the shelters on site this problem was often exaggerated; the north shelter can reach 48°C during the summer and drop below zero during the winter months. With this, the humidity can vary from near 100% to 40% throughout the year. Materials used must be able to withstand huge changes in environment, while still maintaining the desired properties.

For wall painting consolidation we used 5% Paraloid B44, a methyl…

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Çatalhöyük: Practicalities of Field Conservation


Sticky fingers, or: do we need to revisit the gloves debate?

In the mailbox

For quite some time, archivists, conservators and special collections staff have been telling people that they don’t need gloves to handle paper records. The wonderful Rebecca Goldman (@derangedescribe) even did a handy (pun intended) flow chart

Last night, at the Australian Society of Archivists WA Branch AGM, we learnt that the matter needs a lot more research. Professor Simon Lewis, of Curtin University, and his research students are involved in forensic chemistry research, and are looking more closely at paper and fingerprints, to see what they can determine.

Paper porosity is ideal for capturing some drugs; American dollars show up cocaine traces quite well, apparently.  Paper is also evidence itself, or rather a carrier of different sort of information, as archivists well know. In the forensics field, there has been a concentration on the authenticity of documents used to prove identity – a passport may well be…

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