Monthly Archives: December 2011

Conference: Multidisciplinary conservation in historic house museums

Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles

November 6‐9, 2012

ICOM‐DEMHIST, the international committee for historic house museums, and three ICOM‐CC working groups Sculpture, Polychromy, and Architectural Decoration, Textiles, and Wood, Furniture, and Lacquer are collaborating in the organization of a conference to be held in November 2012. In this new collaboration we aim to promote the concept of multidisciplinary conservation within the specific context of historic house museums.

The theme of the symposium will focus on managing the inevitable deterioration of structure and materials in historic house museums, while balancing the need for public access with current standards of practice in conservation. Historic houses remain in constant use throughout their lifespan and their interiors consist of diverse materials often altering dramatically due to change imposed by society, their environment and function. The proper care for historic interiors and their edifices draws from many conservation specializations as well as from many other fields. Therefore it is essential to approach each project in a holistic manner using a multidisciplinary collaborative approach involving all stakeholders. It is intended that posters and papers selected for the upcoming symposium will focus on the following key issues:

  • The Historic House Museum as an artifact: This theme relates to all issues encountered when the house itself is a significant historic artifact and how to balance public access with current standards of practice in conservation.
  • The artifact within its context: This topic concerns the historic house museum as a vessel in which a collection is presented. Focus will be given on balancing the individual conservation needs of solitary objects within the context of an integrated collection and its setting.
  • Conservation and the “narrative” of the Historic House: This theme will delve into how conservation and its discoveries can play a role in engaging and educating the public, both in the narrative presented on public tours and by demonstration of conservation techniques

Authors are invited to submit abstracts related to these topics by the 1st March 2012 to the following email address:

Read the full Call for Papers here: Demhist-ICOM CC Call for Papers


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Funding for pre-1800 furniture

Beecroft Bequest

Under the terms of the will of the late Walter G Beecroft, the residue of his estate was bequeathed to the Museums Association (MA) to form the Beecroft Bequest. The income deriving from the bequest was to be distributed as grant-in-aid to art galleries and museums in the British Isles towards

… the purchase of pictures and works of art (furniture or textiles can be considered) not later than the 18th century in date…’

The bequest is administered by trustees who are appointed by the MA.

To be eligible:

1.            Museums must:

  •  be institutional members of the MA and based in the UK
  • be accredited or have applied for accreditation

Preference will be given to organisations with annual revenue expenditure not exceeding £1,000,000. In the case of branch museums, the revenue budget of the parent organisation applies.

2.            The purchase

  •  Must not be later in date than 1800
  • Can be of fine or decorative arts (eg paintings, watercolours, sculpture, ceramics, metalwork, furniture, textiles) and other items of aesthetic merit.
  • The object must be genuine and of good quality
  • Must represent good value for money
  • There must be a sound reason for the acquisition. ( The applicant must demonstrate how it meets the organisation’s acquisition policy/ aims and objectives)
  •  The cost must be at least £500

Applications for grants for items which have already been purchased will not be considered.

3.            The grant

  • Up to 75% of the purchase price can be awarded
  • No single grant will exceed £5,000
  • An element of local financial contribution is required

Any grant awarded will be paid upon production of the receipt for the full value of the purchase.

4.            The process

  • Applications can be considered at any time
  • In the case of auction sales at least five working days are required although the trustees cannot guarantee to consider any application made at short notice.

Any known queries regarding provenance or questions raised by other bodies must be disclosed.

Georgie Stagg, Museums Association
Tel: 020 7426 6953
Fax: 020 7426 6962

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Save the Date: Looking ahead: The future of the country house Conference

The Attingham Trust 60th Anniversary Conference

12-13 October 2012

Location: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7

Over two packed days there will be papers from Britain, Ireland and America addressing present and future challenges faces by the historic house. Speakers will include Kevin Baird, the Duke of Buccleuch, Terence Dooley, John Harris, Tim Knox and Sean Sawyer.

More details will be announced on the Attingham Trust website.

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Call for Papers: Workshop: Dress, Textiles and Heritage

The University of Wolverhampton invites proposals for papers that explore the collection, display, conservation and all other uses of dress and textiles in heritage settings, including museums and historic houses, in Britain and beyond. Both theoretical and practice-based papers are welcome. Proposals by museum professionals, conservators, historians and all other interested scholars are equally welcome. Themes of interest include – but are not limited to:

  • The uses of textiles in recreating and restoring historic interiors
  • The collection and display of dress, from haute couture to everyday dress
  • The historic development of dress and textiles collections
  • The use of dress in re-enactment
  • The role and development of ethnographic and specialist collections
  • The conservation of historic dress and textiles
  • Exhibitions and displays beyond heritage settings
  • The ‘consumption’ of dress and textiles in heritage settings

To submit a proposal, please send title and abstract of c.300/400 words to Laura Ugolini at by 15 February 2012.

A small fund is available to help cover speakers’ travel and fees.  Find out more here, or contact Laura Ugolini for further information at .

 13 June 2012

University of Wolverhampton, City campus, Millennium City Building

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PhD Studentship on Space and Time at Home in the Eighteenth Century

Applications are invited for a Queen Mary, University of London funded PhD studentship on ‘Space and time at home in the Eighteenth Century,’ to start in October 2012.

The studentship will be jointly based in the School of Geography and the School of History, as a joint studentship between the Centre for Studies of Home (in partnership with The Geffrye Museum of the Home) and the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Potential supervisors include Prof. Alison Blunt (Geography), Eleanor John (Geffrye Museum), Prof. Colin Jones (History), Prof. Miles Ogborn (Geography), Dr Alastair Owens (Geography) and Prof. Amanda Vickery (History).

Applicants should develop their own detailed research proposal relating to the general theme of ‘Space and time at home in the Eighteenth Century.’  This might include, but need not be limited to, the following subjects:

  • space, time and the work of home
  • spaces, rhythms and routines of domestic life
  • space and time at home in relation to gender, class and/or age
  • space and time in different dwellings
  • and space, time and material domestic cultures.

Proposals that will develop European or imperial / colonial comparative research are welcome.

Applicants should discuss their research proposal with Prof. Miles Ogborn ( and/or Prof. Amanda Vickery ( before submitting their application.

For further details on eligibility and how to apply, please see:

The deadline for applications is Monday 30 January 2012.

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Job opportunity: Medieval and Early Modern Medicine Specialist

The role of Specialist, Medieval and Early Modern Medicine is key to the future development of the Wellcome Library‘s role as one of the world’s premier locations for research in the history of early medicine and science. With digitisation plans for the collections being set up, the Wellcome Library is looking for someone who is forward thinking and passionate about the potential for digital technologies to support and enhance scholarly use of early manuscript and printed collections, as well as engage a wider public audience. Reporting directly to the Head of Research and Scholarship, the successful candidate will an established academic historian of medicine or science, with experience of working with early manuscripts and rare books, and of using digital resources for historical research. Candidates should have a higher degree in History with specialisation in pre-modern medicine or science and must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • A strong academic profile
  • Knowledge of relevant collections, including those outside the Wellcome Library
  • Knowledge of current academic work in fields relevant to the Library’s pre-modern collections
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to engage non-specialist audiences
  • Strong influencing and persuading skills
  • Good networking skills
  • An aptitude for collaboration and team-working
  • A reading knowledge of Latin and at least one other relevant foreign language

Further details available here.

Salary c. £35000 p.a (depending on experience) plus excellent benefits

Location: London

Closing date for applications: 21 December 2011

Interviews : w/c 23 January 2012

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Call for Papers: High-tech Heritage: How are Digital Technologies changing our view of the past?

Major questions about the past have long been studied through sequential chronology, typology of form, geographical and spatial dimensions, and literary narrative. Are the lenses of the digital technologies now focused on the past magnifying, enhancing, expanding, or distorting contemporary understandings of the past? 3D visualizations, complex databases, interactive websites, social media, and Geographical Information Systems allow us to model, record, analyze, disseminate, map, and interpret information about cultural heritage. Digital technologies have led to a new means of envisioning past cultures, eras, and landscapes in a virtual, non-spatial, non-narrative immediacy. They are also introducing new methods and new perspectives that challenge traditional historiographical techniques. What implications does that have for historiographical representation in academic publications and in public interpretation? What role do the digital technologies play in complicating or simplifying the stewardship of historic resources? How do they enhance or trivialize the public interpretation of sites and monuments for the purposes of cultural tourism?

The goal of this conference is to bring together a wide range of academics, museologists, digital specialists, heritage professionals, and community leaders to examine the achievements, opportunities, and serious social challenges of digital heritage. The program will highlight ongoing projects, technological breakthroughs, educational assessments, economic evaluations, and philosophical reflections on the impact of new technologies on heritage research, on collective memory, and on the very concepts of “Place” and “Time.”

Of the major themes addressed by the Conference, the two of most direct relevance to the SSN community are:

  • Transdisciplinary Collaboration: Does digital heritage facilitate or hinder the sharing of information across and within present disciplinary boundaries such as history, archaeology, anthropology, art history, architecture, folklore studies, ethnomusicology, linguistics, and regional planning?
  • Heritage and Identity: In an age of increasing ethnic and cultural diversity, posing challenges to essentialized “national patrimony,” can digital heritage create sustainable structures for individuals and groups express their own interest and pride in traditions, monuments, landscapes, and memories of particular significance to them?

Abstracts for poster presentations, research papers (20 min.), demonstrations, workshops, roundtables, and organized sessions or symposia on the conference themes will be accepted until December 15, 2011. They should be a maximum of 300 words in English with a maximum of one illustration or screenshot.

The full Call for Papers and instructions on submitting an abstract can be found here.

2 – 4 May 2012

University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus, USA

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