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Conservation Clinic – happy visitors

14 November 2022

Conservation Clinic in action
Conservation Clinic in action

Our pioneering 'conservation clinic' was a successful venture, with plenty of happy visitors. Dire warnings of severe storms may have dampened appetite for being out and about at that time, but those who ventured out to the Hall Heritage Centre (HHC) with their treasures were well rewarded. Amongst the items presented for conservation advice were bank notes, fabric, old documents and photographs.

Expertise was supplied by the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM). AICCM ACT President Ian Batterham and a group of his Institute colleagues manned the tables for three hours responding to a range of questions about the safe keeping of valued items. Joining Ian were Gerald Preiss (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies), Natalie Ison (Museum of Australian Democracy) and Monica Connors (National Film and Sound Archive). Amongst their areas of expertise are digital preservation, paper and photos, and 3D objects. HHC collection management worker Maren Innes, a UC conservation studies graduate, also assisted.

It is extremely generous of these professional conservators to give so freely of their time and expertise; it is greatly appreciated. It was a real bonus for us that the Institute donated some conservation materials for use in our own conservation work.

Two of the Centre's volunteers offered their reflections: "It was interesting being part of the conservation clinic and chatting to many of those who had brought some treasures with them – including the odd fascinating one like a family tree scroll which went back to William the Conqueror............quite a few people had old photos and documents . I saw one letter which was written in the late 1800s and beautifully written" (Karen Moore) "I was pleased with the advice I had about my old faded photos and the generosity in putting them in archival sleeves for me. Also I was given some references to follow up about photographers....Really practical tips from Gerald about slides too" (Marilyn Folger).

While the clinic was hosted by HHC it was planned and organised in partnership with our good friends from Family History ACT. Gina Tooke and Cheryl Bollard represented FHACT at a desk offering a range of family history resources. Their presence added interest for the visitors and was greatly appreciated. Hopefully, this joint venture event will become another 'annual'.

Conservation Clinic

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