When the lab manager is away, the paper conservators come out to play. As Canberra plods through the depths of winter, the Heritage Lab was a hive of activity during the university’s semester break.
In late May, Heritage and Conservation students were involved in a digitisation project together with the Canberra Museum and Gallery, digitising 3500 press gallery images from the Fairfax Archives dating back to the 1920s. The partnership provided students studying cultural heritage and conservation at the Faculty of Arts and Design the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals.
Soon after, the lab hosted another project, this time from the Australian National University. Ian Batterham led the project with a group of conservation student volunteers to conserve seven large-format maps from the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. The maps came rolled and required backing removal, washing and deacidification and were subsequently relined with Japanese tissue. Following the ANU Map Project, Ian once again held two short courses on paper conservation: ‘Introduction to Paper Conservation’ and ‘Preserving Paper Collections’.
The lab welcomed a new intern for Semester 2, Maddy Fern, who will be assisting in the day-to-day management of the lab and has undertaken to conserve a collection of Indigenous bead jewellery as part of her internship.
As a new semester beckons, we welcome current and new students to continue their journey in cultural heritage conservation.