AIM Pilgrim Trust collections care grant – The David Livingstone Birthplace Museum

AIM Pilgrim Trust collections care grant – The David Livingstone Birthplace Museum 
Grant award: £2,575 
Supporting collections care during refurbishment and reinterpretation 

The AIM collection care grant has allowed the David Livingstone Birthplace to purchase necessary equipment and develop a sustainable approach to the conservation and management of their collections. Despite setbacks caused by Covid-19, the grant enabled the procurement of various materials such as storage containers, packing materials, a conservation hoover, brushes, PPE, pest traps, and dehumidifiers. These materials have helped to move the collection back on site and maintain its care, as well as facilitate an object rotation and cleaning program for volunteers since October 2022.    

When thinking about the collections move specifically, we wanted to try and obtain materials that could be reused. Rather than cardboard boxes we selected crates. These have now been used on multiple occasions: the move and installation of display items, the move of reference library, the move of the remaining collection back to site, the move of items on display for rotation and conservation. We also bought removal blankets that have been used a number of times rather than dispose jiffy or bubble wrap each time.   

Long-term and new volunteers have also benefited from the fund, gaining skills development, and multiple intergenerational projects have been facilitated. Although changes in staff and social distancing restrictions created gaps in managing the fund and its aims, the purchased materials have been instrumental in maintaining the collections’ care to a high standard. Overall, the grant has had a significant benefit and legacy for the museum, enabling us to improve collections’ care and provide opportunities for volunteers to gain valuable skills.   

Rachael Smith, Collections Manager, David Livingstone Birthplace Museum 

Pictured: Object cleaning at David Livingstone Birthplace Museum.