The Association of British Transport & Engineering Museums (ABTEM) has appointed the International Railway Heritage Consultancy (IRHC) to work with them to produce new guidelines for museums and private collectors with larger and working objects. The guidelines will cover stationary engines, industrial machinery, road vehicles, aircraft, railway vehicles, ships, boats and other working items.
Standards first published by the former Museums & Galleries Commission have been used widely by specialists and non-specialists alike since they were first published in 1994, but after two decades of experience now need updating.
The IRHC team has considerable expertise and a wide range of specialists with a wealth of knowledge now available to ABTEM. IRHC will be consulting widely through the heritage and enthusiast sectors to identify best practice in the care of working objects. IRHC Director Helen Ashby said “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to update a publication of major importance in the preservation of industrial and transport heritage, which we have used as practitioners for many years. We feel that this is the right time to review the guidelines and bring them up to date in order to reflect current collections care, sustainability and environmental standards that have evolved since the first edition”.
The project is supported by a £47,645 grant from the Arts Council England through their Museum Resilience funding stream that enables museums to become more sustainable. Paula Brikci, Manager Collections Development, says “We are very pleased to be able to support this project through our Museum Resilience fund. This new toolkit will provide curatorial staff in museums with a refreshed set of guidelines for the care and operation of larger and working objects.”
The new guidelines will be available at the end of 2017 and will be widely publicised and promoting, including through a programme of seminars. Tim Bryan Chairman of ABTEM said “The updating of the old MGC standards is a welcome boost for people working with industrial and transport collections and ABTEM is proud that with Arts Council support, we are able to make it possible”.