The Sunderland Trust received a little bit of good news this week, as it was informed that it had been successful in its bid for a small grant to help look after the collection of military uniform in its care.
The project will seek to improve the storage of approximately 100 items of military uniform, and will enable the trust to purchase vital equipment and materials including conservation-grade garment covers, as well as storage boxes and rails. The Heritage Centre will also be able to buy equipment such as environmental data loggers – an essential piece of equipment for curatorial staff and volunteers to keep track of the temperature and humidity within the exhibition spaces and stores.
As well as those items in the permanent collection, which will be preserved as part of this project for the purposes of research and display, the Heritage Centre also has a small number of uniform items which form part of its ‘handling collection’. These items can be used by visitors and school groups who want to get up close, and even try them on. These items of clothing are always very popular, and help a wide range of visitors to engage with the subject matter.
Heritage Centre Manager, Stuart Berry, was delighted at the news of the grant:
Many of the items of uniform have a great deal of provenance information, including personal stories from the original owner and donor, and it will be incredibly important for the Heritage Centre to make sure these items and their stories are stored and recorded correctly. This grant will enable us to move one step closer to our goal of becoming an Accredited Museum, and we are all really pleased that this important part of our collection will be able to receive the care it deserves!
Volunteers will be set to play a big part in the project, as the grant was only given because of the big contribution made by volunteers in the Heritage Centre. It is hoped that the team of volunteers who work with the collections will be able to clock up about 30 days on this project between them.
The £3,000 grant for the project will be funded by the Welsh Government through the Museums, Archives and Libraries Division; and the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales, and is hoped to be complete early in 2017.
For any queries relating to this project or any other aspect of our collections, please contact the Heritage Centre on 01646 684220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.