RMN’22 – Conservation Conversations with George Monger ACR

A lively discussion and information sharing session ensued as we welcomed George Monger ACR to discuss conservation problems facing rural museums across the UK in the December 2022 Rural Voices Seminar.

Rural Museums Network members and guests were asked to share any conservation conundrums they had, such as the aim to create a maintenance checklist for a working vehicle or a proposed project to restore an item of farm equipment with which they didn’t know where to start.

George shared his extensive experience and reassured those present that they weren’t alone in being uncertain of the best way to proceed with cleaning items that had been donated after years (and years…) of storage within a barn.

Given some of the particular features of rural museum collections (such as often having to devise a way to protect a large object that’s just too big to fit inside, to pests eating our collections or the historic paint colours of farm machinery) we soon realised that no query was too big or too small, and many participants shared the same conundrums.

As a result, the Rural Museums Network will be looking to work with George to create (and answer) some FAQs pertinent to those working with rural life collections. Watch this space for more information!

This seminar was hosted by Rachael Thomas, Secretary of the Rural Museums Network

George Monger Bsc. MA FMA FIIC ACR is an Accredited Conservator (ACR) by the Institute for Conservation (ICON) with over forty-five years’ experience working with national and local history museums, beginning at the Museum Of Mankind (British Museum) and then at the Museum of East Anglian Life (now Food Museum) before becoming freelance for the last twenty-seven years, specialising in Social and Industrial History, Maritime and Ethnological conservation. He has worked with both traditional and modern materials and is often commissioned to undertake work on unusual and difficult objects. George Monger: Conservation & Museum Services is included on the ICON Conservation Register and is also listed as a consultant to carry out Collection Care Assessments for the AIM/ICON Pilgrims Trust funded programme.

Rachael Thomas is a museum curator and conservator, based in Inverness, who has worked with collections across the Highlands of Scotland. Most recently this has included time as Assistant Curator at Auchindrain Township in Argyll, and as Project Conservator during Gairloch Museum’s award-winning reinterpretation. Her areas of interest include the material culture of Scotland’s Gypsy/Travellers, and the interior decorations, fixtures and fittings of Scotland’s vernacular buildings. She is secretary of the Rural Museums Network. @rachaelthomasconservation

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