Christian Baars, Senior Preventive Conservator, National Museum Cardiff

I would like to thank SEAHA, on behalf of National Museum Cardiff, for […] last week’s visit by the Mobile Heritage Lab. Thanks to excellent planning, facilitated by Josep Grau-Bove, we planned a number of experiments and analyses that were carried out successfully during the 2-day visit. This helped us answer some important questions affecting the care of our collections, for example on the effectiveness of the museum’s air filtration system, on the concentrations of VOCs in collection stores, and cryptic sources of heat to some wall-mounted display cases. We had organised a visit by A-level students from a local school, for which the Mobile Heritage Lab provided a great focal point for explaining the multi-disciplinary nature of heritage science. The students then undertook, under the guidance of SEAHA postgraduate students, their own pollutant survey at the museum. At the same time, we also managed to interest many museum visitors in the mobile lab. The second day of the lab’s visit coincided with a high level meeting involving some museum trustees who had been encouraged to see the mobile lab for themselves after the meeting. Josep and his team managed to inspire the trustees and even spark some interesting ideas. All in all, the Mobile Heritage Lab provided an important platform for investigating some collection care problems, providing public outreach and even internal stakeholder advocacy.

Read Christian’s full report of our work at National Museum Wales here.

Gillian Duckworth, Communication & Engagement Officer, The Vyne (National Trust)

We were delighted that you, your students, scientists and the mobile laboratory were able to join us for several visits during our roof restoration project this year.

The level of interest you generated from our visitors was very high and the enthusiasm shown by those who came to your laboratory was great to see. You helped to attract visitors of all ages from all walks of life: children and young people were really impressed with being able to touch and use the instruments.

Your students and scientists dealt with the large groups and barrages of questions very well, and we could see their confidence growing as the days went on. They were soon able to speak to our visitors in ‘normal’ language without jargon, and learned how to impart their obviously high levels of knowledge very effectively.

I also know you and your teams had some excellent conversations with your people who are considering conservation and similar studies, so thank you for taking the time to do this.

Overall, we would really like to have you back virtually every weekend but we understand your commitments and those of the mobile lab. Please thank your colleagues (particularly Josep!) for their time and expertise.

Read our report of our time at The Vyne here.

Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts Heritage and Archaeology