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Subject: Pilgrim Trust Conservation Awards

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Awards

From: Susan Hughes <consawards>
Date: Sunday, July 4, 2004
Thatched Church, Thai Demons, Dust-busters and Digital Archives Win
UK's Premier Conservation Prizes

The Pilgrim Trust Conservation Awards 2004

Fascinating work to safeguard our rich cultural heritage has been
showcased at the UK's premier conservation awards.  From
dust-busters and demons to church altars and digital data, four very
different prize-winners were announced at the British Library on 22

The UKP15,000 Award for Conservation--presented by Tessa Jowell,
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport--was won by
Cambridge conservators and the dedicated parishioners of a thatched
church in rural Suffolk. They beat off a strong shortlist including
the National Trust and English Heritage.

The small community of Thornham Parva, Suffolk were determined to
keep their 14th-century painted and gilded altarpiece in St Mary's
Church despite the environmental challenges of a thatched building.
The team from Hamilton Kerr Institute brought the painting back to
its former glory and solved the church's challenges with an
ingenious environmentally-controlled box. Custom-built for the
altar, this allows the exquisite artwork to remain in the church
without risking future damage from heat, dust and changes in

Liz Forgan OBE, Chair of the Judges, said "This stunning mediaeval
artwork has been returned to the church in all its former glory by a
team whose scholarship and technical expertise are second to none.
The environmental box is a brilliant concept, which we hope others
will copy.  While unobtrusive, it has safeguarded the future of the
altarpiece and enabled it to be reinstated in its rightful home. All
the judges were inspired by the passion and commitment of the
parishioners who did so much to make this possible."

Other major awards announced were:

    *   The Digital Preservation Award. For the first time, an award
        worth UKP5000 was made for Digital Preservation--making sure
        conservation reflects 21st century concerns.  Loyd Grossman
        presented it to The National Archives, who beat off
        competition from around the world with the first all-purpose
        digital archive, designed to store Government records in
        many different formats.  As the Modernising Government
        Agenda aims to have all new records stored and retrieved
        electronically, it is crucially important that digital
        records will be preserved as effectively as paper ones.  The
        Digital Archive


        will store important Government records, from public
        enquiries such as the Hutton Inquiry, to e-mails, web pages
        and databases.

    **** Moderator's comments: The above URL has been wrapped for
    email. There should be no newline.

    *   The coveted UKP10,000 Student Conservator of the Year
        accolade was awarded to MA student Erica Kotze and
        Camberwell College of Arts for her work on a
        concertina-format medical folding book, the Samut Thai Khao,
        or white Thai manuscript, from the Wellcome Trust
        collection.  A medical treatise written in Thai script, it
        is illuminated with demons whose body markings relate to
        medical conditions and possible remedies.  The book, folded
        into 57 pages of hand-made paper, measures over six metres
        when unfolded. Previously severely damaged and unusable, the
        book can now be read and put on display.

    *   The UKP2000 Anna Plowden Award went to dust-busting David
        Howell of Historic Royal Palaces for furthering conservation
        research and innovation.  His automated dust slide analysis
        provides a fast, economical and accurate method for
        assessing dustiness in historic houses, museums and
        elsewhere.  Dust control is important in protecting heritage
        collections as dust can abrade delicate surfaces and
        encourage mould growth.

Presenting the awards, Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture,
Media and Sport, said: 'Without collections in good condition,
museums, archives and other heritage sites lose their purpose and
meaning. Conservators make sure not only that can we see these
things, but that we can understand and enjoy them too.  The
Department of Culture, Media and Sport is supporting their vital
work, not least through investing some UKP7 million in the next two
years in collections care in museums through the Renaissance in the
Regions programme.'

Full details are available at
<URL:>. Pictures are available at
<URL:> under English Heritage/Conservation

For further information on the Conservation Awards, please visit
<URL:> or contact

    Fiona Cameron
    Media and Events Manager
    Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
    +44 20 7273 1459
    fiona.cameron [at] mla__gov__uk

Sponsored by the Pilgrim Trust, the Digital Preservation Coalition
and the Anna Plowden Trust, the Awards are also supported by key
organisations in conservation--the Museums, Libraries and Archives
Council (MLA), English Heritage, the National Preservation Office,
the Institute of Paper Conservation and the United Kingdom Institute
for Conservation.

Judging Panel members: Award for Conservation and Student
Conservator Award: Chair: Liz Forgan OBE, Chair of the National
Heritage Memorial Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scott
Trust; Dalya Alberge, Arts Correspondent of The Times; Professor
Jonathan Ashley-Smith, Senior Research Fellow in Conservation
Studies at the V&A Museum; James Hervey-Bathurst, President of the
Historic Houses Association and Rosalind Savill CBE, Director of the
Wallace Collection.

Digital Preservation Award:  Chair: Richard Boulderstone, (Chair)
Director, e-strategy, The British Library; Sheila Anderson,
Director, Arts and Humanities Data Service; Kevin Ashley, Head of
Digital Archives, University of London Computer Centre; David
Dawson, Senior ICT Adviser, MLA; Barry Fox, Independent journalist
and broadcaster; Nick Higham, Presenter; Chris Rusbridge, Director
of Information Services, University of Glasgow; David Saunders,
Senior Scientist, The National Gallery.

Anna Plowden Trust Award for Research and Innovation in Conservation
is judged by the Trustees.

The Pilgrim Trust was founded in 1930 by Edward Stephen Harkness of
New York to award grants for some of Great Britain's more urgent
needs and to promote the country's future well-being. The Trustees
make grants to projects involved in social welfare, art and
learning, preservation, cataloguing and conservation of records and
the repair of historic churches.

The Anna Plowden Trust was established by the friends and family of
Anna Plowden CBE, following her death. As one of the first
scientifically trained conservators to work in the private sector,
Anna Plowden was committed to the promotion and development of the
conservation profession through both training and education, which
she believed should be of the highest possible standard. The Trust
seeks to promote her ideals and interests. Further information is
available from:

    The Anna Plowden Trust
    43 Lansdowne Gardens
    London SW8 2EL

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), launched in February 2002,
is a cross-sectoral membership organisation of 27 major UK
organisations which aims to ensure that  digital  preservation is
kept on the policy agenda  and practical progress in preserving
access to important digital resources is made.

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) is the national
development agency working for and on behalf of museums, libraries
and archives and advising government on policy and priorities for
the sector. MLA's roles are to provide strategic leadership, to act
as a powerful advocate, to develop capacity and to promote
innovation and change. Museums, libraries and archives connect
people to knowledge and information, creativity and inspiration. MLA
is leading the drive to unlock this wealth, for everyone.

English Heritage is the Government's lead body for the historic
environment. Funded partly by the Government and in part from
revenue earned from its historic properties and other services,
English Heritage aims to increase the understanding of the past,
conserve and enhance the historic environment and broaden access and
appreciation of heritage. <URL:>

The Institute of Paper Conservation is the leading organisation
devoted solely to the conservation of paper and related materials.
Paper conservation is sophisticated and diverse and one of IPC's
main objectives is the advancement of the craft and science of paper
conservation both within the profession and in terms of public
awareness. <URL:>

The National Preservation Office provides an independent focus for
ensuring the preservation and continued accessibility of library and
archive material held in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Based at
the British Library, the NPO is supported by the Library, The
National Archives, The National Library of Scotland, Trinity College
Dublin, The Consortium of University Research Libraries, Cambridge
University Library, The National Library of Wales and the Oxford
University Library Services.

The United Kingdom Institute for Conservation (UKIC) is the
professional body for those who care for the country's cultural
objects and heritage collections. Its members are conservators
working in public institutions such as museums and galleries, and
conservators and restorers working in the private sector. The
Institute exists to foster excellence in the provision of
conservation services, to raise awareness of the importance of
conservation skills, and to provide information and advice to those
requiring conservation services. It operates the Conservation
Register, a national database of conservation services.

The Hamilton Kerr Institute is a department of the Fitzwilliam
Museum, University of Cambridge. The Institute undertakes the
conservation of easel paintings for public and publicly shown
collections as well as the Museum, and offers courses in
conservation. It aims to educate painting conservators to the
highest standard and to contribute to scientific, technical and art
historical research.

The British Library houses the world's knowledge, and with over 150
million separate items it is one of the top three libraries in the
world. It is the UK's national library and the world's leading
resource for scholarship, research and innovation. Its collection
covers every age of written civilisation, every written language and
every aspect of human thought. Material held by the Library ranges
from ancient Chinese oracle bones to technical reports about the
latest scientific discoveries and today's newspapers. Users
including industrial companies and academic scholars, have access to
the Library's collection in its Reading Rooms and via its global
document supply services, which supply over 15,000 documents per day
to 20,000 customers in 111 countries. Information on the Library's
collection and services is available at <URL:>

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:6
                   Distributed: Friday, July 9, 2004
                        Message Id: cdl-18-6-002
Received on Sunday, 4 July, 2004

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