This week, I have been fortunate to work with Poppy Garrett, one of the museum trainees at The Wordsworth Trust.
Poppy came to my studio to learn about handling and cleaning methods in preparation for working with me on the conservation and fasciculing of a large and significant Wordsworth Trust archive collection. The items we were working with during the training were very generously provided by the archive of The Salters’ Company who were pleased to have Poppy and myself treating a collection that otherwise may have not be cleaned in this year’s conservation schedule.
The collection in question was a box of petitions for assistance, dating from 1805. These documents detail the requests for financial help received by the Salters’, mainly due to hardship and unemployment. As you can see, they made good subjects for cleaning training, with plenty of historical storage surface dirt for Poppy to tackle.
We started with making a dusting box, an essential piece of kit to control the spread of eraser crumbs and dirt, moved through to cleaning with a latex sponge, brush and vinyl eraser, including grated eraser, and finished with a couple of simple and straightforward tear repairs. We also managed to fit in a quick tutorial on the best way to adhere bookplates, something that Poppy was going to be doing in the coming week.
It was great to work with Poppy, who picked up the techniques really quickly and had a good awareness of how to handle and support these often fragile and damaged items during the cleaning process.
My thanks to the The Wordsworth Trust and to The Salters’ Company for supporting Poppy’s training with me. We have an excellent collections care professional in the making!