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Big impact at Institute of Conservation’s first-ever Twitter Conference

12 October 2017

Conservation students begin work on the African Drumming project for the University's School of Music
Conservation students begin work on the African Drumming project for the University's School of Music

Respected globally, Conservation from the University has made a big impact at the Institute of Conservation’s first Twitter Conference.

Experienced staff, current students and recent graduates were among 55 speakers delivering 15-minute session through a series of individual posts at #IconTC. Participants and followers posted more than 1,000 tweets, with over 2 million impressions throughout the day.

The session attracting the largest audience was also a Cardiff affair, made popular by a moth playing bongos in one of the event’s most ingenious gifs.

Drumming out moths by Cardiff students explained how a call to help the University’s Music School to conserve a regularly used West African drum collection. Devin Mattlin, Dean Smith and Chloe Pearce investigated the problem, used in-house Conservation facilities to rid the instruments of moth infestation, and put together a workable plan to avoid repeat performances. Kimberly Roche ended the Cardiff session with a session on public engagement with amateur archaeologists, reporting on her work to conserve a 16th century waterlogged shoe found on the banks of the River Thames.

In her keynote, Reader in Conservation Jane Henderson gave examples of how conservators look after our cultural heritage, making it accessible for all. Her session revealed how conservation can reveals stories, often with great impact. She showed how conservation can give life to personal treasures like the baby shoes conserved for the Cynon Valley Museum, reveals our sometimes troubled history evidenced by a toy box with the hidden suffrage message at Brecknock Museum, and gives evidence about our natural world and the impact of human change.

Recently awarded the Higher Education Academy Senior Fellowship, Jane added: “We conserve a nation’s contested history. What we conserve bears witness to our times.”

A host of Cardiff Conservation graduates including Pieta Greaves, David Pearson, Sue Renault and Erin Secord were among those sharing case studies from around the world.

In just a flavour of the topics raised by alumni. William Tregaskes used the platform to argue that more than just preserving the tangible, public conservation continues physical interaction with heritage in public. Now working at The People’s History Museum in Manchester, Kloe Rumsey presented her development of versatile non-adhesive mounting for problematic flat works. Currently working for Clifton Conservation Service, Jenny Mathiasson shared her experimentation of the commercial product Museum Gel in Let’s talk goo!

The full story of #IconTC 2017 is available through Storify (Part 1 and Part 2).

Cardiff University offers a broad range of highly-regarded conservation degrees from its undergraduate BSc Conservation of Objects in Museums and Archaeology to a wide range of postgraduate degrees including one-year options.

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