Adapt & Evolve : Conference 2015

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Studio Tours

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A number of centres for conservation – including museums, archives, large collections, a library, a research facility, and a private studio – have kindly agreed to open their doors to Icon’s conference delegates to provide studio tours. These are included in the price of your conference ticket but spaces are limited so booking is required. All tours will take place on 8 April 2015.

If booking on both morning and afternoon tours, please note that you will need to arrange your own travel between locations and please ensure that your selections allow enough time for this.

You can book for your preferred tours when you purchase your conference ticket on our Eventbrite ticket page.

Morning Tours

10.00 – 12.00  British Library
10.00 – 12.00  John Jones
11.00 – 12.00  London Metropolitan Archives
11.00 – 13.00  Museum of London
10.45 – 13.00  Parliamentary Archives
10.00 – 12.00  Wellcome Library (arrive at 9.45)

Afternoon Tours

14.00 – 16.00  British Museum
14.00 – 16.00  UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage
14.00 – 15.00  London Metropolitan Archives
14.00 – 16.00  National Archives
14.00 – 16.30  Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
14.00 – 17.00  V&A


The British Library: The British Library conservators’ multifaceted role includes preparing objects for loans and exhibitions, conducting large-scale digitisation projects, and making running repairs to books constantly in use. The tour will include a visit to the Centre for Conservation, including a look at analytical equipment such as that used for multi-spectral imaging, and a presentation of the conservation department’s ‘fit for purpose’ approach.

The British Museum: The British Museum is pleased to offer a tour of its specialist Hirayama Asian Pictorial Art Conservation Studio and newly built, state-of-the-art conservation facilities located in the World Conservation and Exhibition Centre (WCEC). The WCEC is adjacent to the British Museum’s existing architecture and houses purpose-built conservation studios and science laboratories, a storage area, exhibition gallery, and a collection hub.

UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage: UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage is pleased to welcome you to its heritage science laboratory to present the interdisciplinary research in heritage science and sustainable management at the Institute. The projects range from scientific studies of historic paper, including Islamic and Asian paper and understanding of the smell of paper, to non-destructive characterisation and material condition assessment of library materials. Of particular interest may be research into evidence-based environmental management in libraries and archives, and research into understanding of visitor attitudes to degradation and loss. The visit will include hands-on demonstrations of scientific research tools, both those useful in daily examination of objects, to more advanced documentation tools such as hyperspectral imaging.

John Jones: John Jones arts consultancy is a global leader in the preservation and presentation of fine art, providing various expert services to support artists and collectors in addition to its core business of bespoke framing. Delegates will be shown around the new Arts Building at the Finsbury Park site, a purpose-built, six-floor building. The tour will include the conservation studio, photography studio, artwork storage and loading areas, mounting and fitting departments, and client consultation area. For more information, please visit their website.

London Metropolitan Archives: London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) holds around 105 kilometres of records related to 1,000 years of the history of London. This massive collection keeps growing to reflect London’s ongoing history through new acquisitions. The tour will cover the role of the LMA conservation team, taking visitors through the conservation studio, the box making studio, and one strong room.

Museum of London: Rose Briskman and Clare Reynolds will be delighted to show delegates round the Paper Conservation Section of the Conservation and Collection Care department of the Museum of London, and will discuss their work on exhibitions, loans, and stored objects. They will talk about pest management, and the use of trained volunteers in improving storage. There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion of all the usual concerns of the paper conservator, and visitors’ opinions will be welcomed.

The National Archives: The National Archives is the UK government’s official archive, storing over 1,000 years of public records, from the Domesday Book to digital files, and making them accessible to all. A visit to the Collection Care Department will illustrate the broad range of activities we undertake to prolong the life and enhance the value of this vast collection, via a studio visit and repository tour.

Parliamentary Archives: The Parliamentary Archives at the Houses of Parliament has custody of several million records of historical, constitutional, and political significance, and the Collection Care team is responsible for managing the conservation and preservation needs of the Archives and also assists other offices at Parliament. The tour will include a visit to the Original Act room in the Victoria Tower and the Collection Care studios. Please note, all visitors to the Parliamentary Archives must be carrying photo ID, be prepared to go through a security check, and be able to walk up and down stairs unaided and use a lift.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew invites you to visit its Paper Conservation Studio and Economic Botany Collection to look at some remarkable items from East Asia. During the tour, both conserved and untreated botanic illustrations will be on show, including a collection of Chinese export paintings on pith paper. A unique collection of historic and modern Japanese papers will also be presented.

The V&A: The V&A Conservation Department combines the expertise of conservation scientists with the skills and knowledge of a multidisciplinary team of conservators. The tour will include a visit to the book, paper, and painting conservation studios, where you will be able to see and discuss work on upcoming exhibitions and displays.

The Wellcome Collection: The Wellcome Collection explores the connection between science, art, and history through a dynamic program of public display. The Wellcome Library holds unique resources on the history and progress of medicine. The conservation team is pleased to offer a tour of the conservation facilities and present its role in caring for this exceptional collection. Visitors will also tour the Reading Room and the exhibition galleries.

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