Creators: David Thurrowgood and David Hallam
Abstract: The conservation of technological objects in social history museums requires a modified approach to conventional static conservation or traditional restoration projects. Objects in these museums are being preserved more for the story they embody than for the technology they represent. Leading up to the opening of the National Museum of Australia (NMA), conservation was undertaken on one of its most valued objects, the Francis Birtles Bean car. The car became internationally famous in the 1920s for the journeys it undertook, including one from London to Melbourne. The NMA takes into account an object’s function as much as its form when undertaking conservation projects. Finding a balance between an object’s preservation and the uses a museum seeks to put it to can be especially challenging when treating functional technology. This paper will discuss some of the ethical and practical approaches to conserving technology at the NMA using as a principal example the Bean conservation project. This paper is designed to be read in conjunction with the other material being presented by the NMA at this conference. It will primarily cover ethical issues of preserving story, while our other work will cover practical applications.
Reference: David Thurrowgood and David Hallam 2004, ‘Preserving significance: Why the journey mattered more than the car’, Big Stuff 2004
DOI Link (Paper):
|Thurrowgood, David, & Hallam, David. (2004). Preserving significance: Why the journey mattered more than the car. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4084800|
DOI Link (Q&A):
|Thurrowgood, David, & Hallam, David. (2004, September 29). Preserving significance: Why the journey mattered more than the car Q&A. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4116575|