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ABTEM is pleased to announce the launch of the biggest project in its history, the updating of the old MGC Standards in the Care of Larger & Working Objects.

There have been several publications available to those looking after larger and working objects within the museum sector, all now out-of-print. The Museums & Galleries Commission ‘Standards in the Museum Care of Larger & Working Objects was “an authoritative source of care standards to which all museums should aspire” (MGC Standard 4 published in 1994). This was followed in 1997 by ‘Larger & Working Objects: A guide to their preservation and care’ (Stephen Ball, MGC) and in 2009 the Collections Trust published ‘Larger & Working Objects: a guide to standards in their preservation and care’.

In 2015, with Arts Council England Subject Specialist Network (SSN) funding, ABTEM commissioned consultant Rob Shorland – Ball to carry out a Scoping Study exploring the need and demand for updated guidelines for the care, interpretation and operation of items in transport and engineering collections in public-funded, independent charitable and volunteer-run organisations. With positive feedback from the sector, and following a further application to the Arts Council, ABTEM was awarded £47,465 from its Resilience grant programme to update and republish the standards.

In 2017 the International Railway Heritage Consultancy (IRHC) were appointed to produce new guidelines for larger and working objects. Working with a steering group of ABTEM members, IRHC also undertook consultation with other individuals and organisations to produce the final document.

ABTEM are very grateful to Arts Council England for their generous support of this project; it is the biggest and most exciting initiative undertaken by the network since its inception in 1962 and is intended to be a ‘living document’ that will be updated on a regular basis.

The new Guidelines are available in a number of formats:

 A free download

A flipbook format

 A hardcopy version costing £24.99 available from the Collections Trust.

Visit www.abtemguidelines.org for more information. 




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