Saving Evidence of Shaftesbury Life for Future Reference

Heather Blake had no previous experience of archives when she joined the Gold Hill Museum volunteer team in June 2021. She has now worked through thirteen boxes of documents, reading, classifying, and wrapping the contents in acid-free paper for storage in museum-standard containers. A training day with Helena Jaeschke from South West Museums equipped her with the conservation skills to deal with issues such as rusty staples! Particularly interesting stories have been copied and cross-referenced, most recently from parish magazines and records of local clubs and societies, many of which no longer exist.

The work of Heather and fellow volunteers is ensuring that Gold Hill Museum now has a much better idea of what records it possesses, and what light they shed on the history of the locality. These documents are being properly conserved in the Museum’s Library and should be available for future generations to consult. Sadly, the same cannot be said of collections in Ukrainian museums. The Museums Association has reported the destruction on 27 February 2022 of the Ivankiv Historical and Cultural Museum about 50 miles north of Kyiv. The town has a population of 10,000 and this was a small museum of archaeology, history and the visual arts, including about 25 works by the noted folk artist Maria Prymachenko (1908-97).

A piece by folk artist Maria Prymachenko, 25 of whose works are reported destroyed by fire. Image from the Museums Association

You can access the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal of the Disasters Emergency Committee here