International Training Programme 2021 – Week 7

Written by George Peckham, ITP Assistant

This week we are releasing the third of our ITP 2021 core sessions, which will cover Conservation and Scientific Research.

This session gives an introduction to the departments of Scientific Research and Conservation at the British Museum, as well as an introduction to Preventative Conservation at the British Museum. For each department there is also a case study to illustrate the work of Conservation and Scientific Research at the BM.

These departments are two of the oldest departments of conservation and scientific research in the world. Both are housed in the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre (WCEC) with its state-of-the-art facilities.

Their principal aims are to preserve the collections for present and future generations and to enhance the presentation and understanding of the Museum’s collection for the varied audiences. Both departments work to study and preserve objects for exhibitions, loans, storage and research, and their members take part in various excavation projects and other fieldwork, helping to look after cultural heritage artefacts, both in the UK and overseas.

Each week we also share an ‘in conversation’, a module that focuses on a particular theme or current issue in the culture and heritage sector. For this week’s in conversation, I spoke to Jessica Juckes, Coordinator of the British Art Network at Tate Gallery and former ITP team member, about subject specialist networks and how they can help you care for and share your collections.

Last week we also had two more meetings with the ITP 2021 cohort and their BM departmental representatives! It was great to finally the rest of the cohort ‘live’ and begin planning their time at the British Museum.

Last week the ITP team along with Alice Christophe, ITP department rep for the Africa, Oceania and the Americas (AOA), and Helen Anderson from the AOA department, met with Osaru Obaseki (Nigeria), William Nsuiban Gmayi (Ghana), Mario Tuki (Rapa Nui), and Travis Stewart (USA).

We were also joined by He Yulei (China), Gao Rui (China), Sanpiseth Kim (Cambodia), Iffat Azeem (Pakistan) and Siddhant Shah (India) to introduce BM colleagues in the Asia department, Jessica Harrison-Hall and Alexandra Green, as well as Vesta Curtis from the department of Coins and Medals.

During the meetings, we had the chance to introduce ourselves in person as a reminder about who we are and what we do, and to have conversations about the fellows’ specific interests and areas to focus on during the visit to the UK and the British Museum.

We are looking forward to interacting with the fellows further as they work continue to work through their e-learning!