The Infill: 3 May 2018

The Infill: well, look what the cat dragged in

News fit for a sprightly nonagenarian great-granny

With Her Majesty having recently turned 92 (and showing no signs of stopping, thank goodness), we have combed the newsfeeds for the most regal reports we could find, from the preservation of a rare and important collection of royal charters to the exhibition prep of some eye-wateringly bejewelled royal tiaras. Did you know that if you drop a diamond it will bounce, but an emerald will shatter? Don’t try that at home! If, however, your home is draped in medieval tapestries, you might want to try following the lead of the Royal Collection at Hampton Court Palace outside London, where they protect theirs from light with ‘smart windows’.

BOGOF time at Tasmania’s Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery: it’s not every day you get both an 11th- and a 16th-century manuscript for the price of one. These you don’t even have to buy one of to get the others for free: the State Library of Queensland’s new videos on caring for family collections.

If you are in London within the next ten days, then hasten your way to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace for the ravingly reviewed Charles II: Art & Power. Those of you in New York can transport yourselves at the Met’s Visitors to Versailles, which ‘highlights the experiences of travelers from 1682, when Louis XIV moved his court to Versailles, to 1789, when the royal family was forced to leave the palace and return to Paris’. #firstworldproblems

News you can use

Struggling with Sellotape/Scotch tape? Tack-le the problem with this nice little primer on pressure-sensitive tape’s origins, composition and deterioration characteristics.

All you need is glove. Or do you? Find out in this nifty podcast featuring British Library boffins Dr Cordelia Rogerson and Dr Paul Garside.

Health & Safety is like flossing. You don’t really want to do it, but when your visit to the dental hygienist doesn’t result in a tsunami of blood, you’re glad you did. Find out all you need to know to protect your other body parts in the AIC Health & Safety Committee Conservation Wiki. If you’re new to flossing and the wiki is a bit too much to sink your teeth into, then try this short guide to Hazards in Museum Collections instead.

Concerned about cultural heritage strategy for the 21st century? The Council of Europe’s website has plenty of examples of good practice when it comes to social participation, territorial and economic development, and knowledge and education.

Time for all of you DIYers to get out your saws and hammers: the AICCM has given you detailed instructions for easy-to-build roll racks (and at the same time demonstrated the correct hyphenation of compound adjectives).

Here is some information that might have been useful to us the other day when we were trying to repair our fiancé’s beloved olive bowl from Spain, after we dropped it on the floor: Alternative Material – Funori as Consolidant for Powdery, Matt Paint on Ceramics and Stone.

Good news

Good news for the environment: London’s Natural History museum will this year stop selling single-use plastic water bottles in favour of Life Water, the UK’s first zero-plastic canned water. Also good for the environment: poo paper. Yes, it’s real.

Good news for common sense: The monkey selfie saga is finally over. It’s not that we are totally anti-monkey selfie, we just would have liked to have seen a bit more of his portfolio. Anybody can have beginner’s luck.

Good news for anyone who cares about people: National Liverpool Museums’ innovative dementia programme, which includes the use of ‘memory-stimulating suitcases’, has just celebrated its fifth birthday and is now heading to the US.

News that really sucks

Remember the devastating earthquake that hit L’Aquila, Italy in 2009? Even if you don’t, you will be enraged to know that people were stealing artworks from damaged churches. Luckily some have been recovered, and we hope we will be able to report the same for the 314 books, estimated at a value of $5 million, that someone swiped from the Carnegie Library rare books room in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Since the theft was discovered in April of 2017, the room has been closed – it’s now a crime scene.

This photo really sucks.

8,000 artefacts stolen from Iraq’s national museum at the start of the Iraq war are still missing. But at least this Baghdad library survived.

Five burning questions for your department’s next coffee break 🤔

  1. Do videos like this actually help the conservation profession? The comments-section debate is heated!

  2. Why is there a gender pay gap in conservation at London’s Imperial War Museum?

  3. How could HALF of one French museum’s collection actually be fakes?

  4. Are ‘museums’ dedicated to selfies and candy a step too far? Have they got ‘the potential to undermine the trust placed in cultural institutions, perhaps altering our relationship to culture, art, and commerce in the process’?

  5. How on earth do people still not know that one should absolutely refrain from bringing (and then leaving) stinky fruit into a library?

Your video treat:

is not a video at all, but rather a bit of fashion fun. Date the dress with the Costume Society of America and test your knowledge of 19th-century women’s frocks.

The final word…

… goes to one of the judges in the monkey selfie case. ‘We have no idea whether animals or objects wish to own copyrights or open bank accounts to hold their royalties from sales of pictures.’ Neither have we, but we can bet they wouldn’t open one with TSB.

April showers this year in the UK have brought us… May showers. And wind. And abnormally low temperatures. But we hope it’s warm and sunny where you are! Hugs, The Gathering

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