April 2015

Twelve months have come and gone and I can hardly believe that it is time to say goodbye. I have had an incredible year here in the Conservation Department.

As many of you will remember I came to Norfolk Museums Service after completing my MA in the Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects at Durham University.

My internship has covered all aspects of preventive conservation, including environmental monitoring and assessment, light management, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), emergency planning and salvage, and exhibition installations and de-installations (packing, condition checking, and couriering).

It has also provided me with the opportunity to undertake remedial conservation. I worked on taxidermy bird specimens, WWI objects, a medieval German altar piece, archaeological ceramics from Benin, archaeological amber beads, a snap dragon and an Egyptian shabti.

I have worked on many varied projects but the following two were particularly exciting.

1. “The Wonder of Birds”

This temporary exhibition presented me with many opportunities:

• Mount making for silver and copper alloy objects
• Remedial work on birds destined to go on display
• Lighting (ensuring correct lux levels and producing a lighting plan)
• Condition checking of loans upon their arrival
• IPM strategies including a plan, a factsheet for couriers, weekly monitoring and recording   of the finds and a final report at the end of the show

2. Aickman’s Yard

Aickman’s Yard store in King’s Lynn presented me with a great opportunity to undertake an environmental assessment. The report was instigated by the proposal to move the Lynn textile collection there from the Town Hall store. I collected environmental data spanning three years which I analysed. I made some recommendations about environmental monitoring and control and identified short and long term action points. To better understand the data, I undertook a building audit to find out about the age, the construction and the heating system of the building.

My experience as a Preventive Conservation Intern has been invaluable. I was able to extend my repertoire, practice techniques, make new professional contacts and gain confidence. I have had a fantastic year at NMS and I feel ready for what the future will bring next.

I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their generous support of this internship. I would also like to thank ICON for organising, running and supporting this internship. Finally I wish to thank everybody at NMS for being a joy to work with. Special thanks go to the Conservation Department for making my internship a broad and valuable experience, especially my two supervisors Sarah Norcross-Robinson and Debbie Harris for their continuous support and guidance.


Salts on the inside walls of the stores at Aickman’s Yard in King’s Lynn


Light audit in the art galleries at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery


Packing of archaeological amber beads in the conservation lab in the Shirehall


Surface cleaning of a large snap dragon in the conservation lab at Gressenhall

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