Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Condition Assessment of the HMS Sirius Collection

The Norfolk Island Museum applied to the Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme (MMAPSS) to provide for a condition assessment of the HMS Sirius Collection.  Rebecca Dallwitz, Objects Conservator for the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) arrived on the island last week to undertake this assessment. 
The MMAPSS is funded by the Australian Government and managed by the ANMM, the Norfolk Island Museum have been fortunate to receive assistance through this grant scheme over the past number of years.  Some of the projects funded by the scheme has provided for the development of  educational resources; a Norfolk Island maritime research project post 1856 including our whaling heritage and the story of the Resolution; it has provided for the writing of maritime significance statements and the conservation of our collections.
Rebecca spent over a week on the island examining the HMS Sirius artefacts on display and in storage and now has the enormous task of pulling the information together and producing a report.  Her study not only includes the assessment of the actual objects but also considers the environment, housing, collection maintenance and documentation.  It will provide a valuable document to confirm existing best practice museum standards, but more importantly identify what needs to be addressed to ensure the long term preservation and care of such a significant collection.  She has already identified necessary activity to address the environment, display material and documentation; this report will be a tool to assist us to procure resources for these necessary projects. 
Many thanks to Rebecca for your time and professionalism, to the ANMM for sparing her from an extremely busy existing work schedule and to the Australian Government funded Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme.

Janelle Blucher

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