ITP 2013: Week 2

In the feedback and reflection session of Friday 23 August, we asked participants to tell us about what they had learnt during that week, and any questions they still had after attending the week’s sessions.  As always, there was lots of lively discussion and debate and here is a summary of the points they came up with:Key learning points in week 2:

  • Lots of praise for Tanya Szrajber’s talk on the BM’s documentation department and the wide range of methodologies used to keep track of the collection.
  • The day-trip to Brighton, including a tour of the Royal Pavilion and visit to Brighton Museum, was not only a chance to leave behind rainy London for the sunny seaside, but also gave participants an insight into the 18th and 19th century fashion for chinoiserie, artistically expressed in the only Royal Palace to be owned by the public.
  • A day of sessions at the V&A saw participants discussing the upcoming “Chinese Painting” exhibition and exploring the organisational structure of a museum focused on design and craftsmanship.
  • An extensive session, given by Lucinda Smith, on storage methods, materials and organisation proved to be another favourite, with participants taking a tour of and inspecting the storage facilities of various departments across the museum.
  • The time spent in the various BM Departments included their own range of highlights, including hands-on-session, practical sessions, viewing and discussing materials destined for the Asia department’s “Propaganda” exhibition, an Ancient Egypt and Sudan departmental visit to view the Petrie Museum’s 3D installation techniques and the Greece and Rome Department’s tour of the current “Pompeii and Herculaneum” exhibition.


  • More documentation advice, possibly to include an additional session with the BM’s collections database coordinators. A follow-up session has been arranged for those who would like more detail on the Museum’s collection documentation.
  • More information and talks on exhibition design and which departments are involved in the process of creating and putting together a new exhibition. There will be additional sessions and discussions on exhibitions and interpretation next week.
  • More time in the conservation departments and a session on restoration techniques. A half-day session on Conservation is also coming up next week.
  • How does the BM cooperates internally, as well as with other museums and organisations, such as the V&A, National Trust or English Heritage?  We hope that many of these requests will be answered the sessions next week, but as ever, if you need further details from any of the session facilitators, please send specific questions to Claire or Shezza and we will pass them on, and share the responses with the entire group.

Thanks to all the participants for their contributions this week.