Conservation Fun at Iziko!!!!

We finally started our internship yesterday!!! I have been placed at the Social History Centre for collections management and conservation experience. Billy is also joining me, as his mentor is M.I.A. As we toured the five floors of storage, I expected we would be eased into working. However, Bradley, the conservator, had different plans. We basically got straight into it. We began deinstalling an exhibit at the Slave Lodge and managed to finish removing most of the objects from one of the rooms. I also began taking condition notes on the objects to be later typed up in an official report. The assistant conservator, Janene, was extremely helpful in showing me how to do this properly since I had no prior experience working with objects. I also began taking photographs of the objects for the condition reports, which were added today after I typed them up.

As we continued to deinstall the Sue Williamsen exhibit, I photographed and packed away some postcards and photographs. Billy and I also kept inventory of the objects being packed away. I finally got the chance to work with an object more directly. Janene showed me how to clean a Freedom Charter T-Shirt with a screen and a vacuum. I photographed the object and wrote a condition report for it. The objects I’m most excited to work with will be the glass negatives we put together today. The piece was somehow damaged and the shards had to be reconstructed to account for any missing pieces. Janene will be showing me how to treat it next week. All in all, a very exciting and busy two days so far!!!

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2 thoughts on “Conservation Fun at Iziko!!!!

  1. I can’t believe that they put you immediately to work. Does that mean you got to wear conservation gloves and all? And I’m curious about the t-shirt conservation since I have a Free Nelson Mandela shirt I’d love to take care of…any suggestions?

    • We only vacuumed it, but we had to use a wooden frame with a screen to keep any loose threads from becoming undone. All you can do is remove surface dust.

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