On the 27th of October, we attended the second edition of the ICON Conference 2016. It was a great opportunity for those of us who could not attend to the first edition in Birmingham to see some of the papers that were presented in that event.
There was a good balance of topics, which dealt with all kinds of materials, and a wide range of collections.
Emily Hick talked about the benefits crowdsourcing had on the rehousing of a collection of manuscripts at the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University. We had recently read about this project at the ICON Twitter Conference.
Claire Thompson, from the National Library of Scotland, talked about the conservation of a 17th map with the most interesting backstory: It was found inside a chimney! This attracted a lot of media coverage and the interest of the public. The following video shows part of the conservation process:
Lizzie Miller showed us some of the challenges she faces at Birmingham Museums Trust when she works on the conservation of contemporary art. They are made of a wide variety of materials, some of them quite new, which means conservators have to learn how to treat them. Documentation, and communication with the artists are very important parts of the conservation process.
Cordelia Rogerson, from the British Library, talked about how Risk Assessment can help make conservation needs more understandable, and to highlight the importance of this discipline. Meanwhile, Sarah VanSnick recounted how they worked to understand the risk mould presented to the National Archives. And Isobel Griffith, National Library Scotland, presented her paper on the current state of collections environment standards.
After a short pause for lunch, Helen Murdina Hughes, from Glasgow Life, talked about a collaborative project involving the conservation assessment and documentation of a large group of banners, to make them publicly accessible. Of diverse size and characteristics, unrolling, photographing and packing the banners required a lot of planning.
Richard Welander filled in for Lynsey Haworth to present a paper on the monitoring of the Unicorn Tapestry at Stirling Castle. In 2015, a copy of this tapestry was woven using traditional techniques. With the aid of time lapse photography Historic Scotland, in collaboration with the University of Southhampton, are monitoring the deformation of the tapestry. This will help to understand the deterioration of historic tapestries.
Sarah Foskett continued talking about textiles and how the accumulation of dust on costumes on display was analysed at the University of Glasgow.
The event ended with a paper by Ioannis Vasallos about his work with Stanley Kubrick’s polaroids from Stanley Kubrick’s continuity albums, housed at the Stanley Kubrick archive, University of the Arts London.
We look forward to the next ICON Scotland conference, to learn about more interesting conservation projects taking place in Scotland and all around the UK!