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Thursday, May 29 • 9:20am - 9:40am
(Opening Session) Sustainable Collections Care on a Budget - A new museum store for Bolton, UK

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The need for a new collections store presented an opportunity to embed sustainability both environmental and economic further into Bolton’s museum practise.

The brief was to build a store, increasing access to over 40,000 objects, on a budget of well under £1million (under $1.5M). This limited budget covered the entire build, fit out, some additional staff costs and object moves, all to be achieved in less than 2 years.
This paper presents the processes, technologies and ethos used to achieve the brief, whilst improving collections care for every object. Sustainable measures included extensive insulation, re-use of old storage furniture, zoning collections within the building and installation of solar panels. The project is an example of combining modern high tech with low-tech solutions. With no funds in the new store budget identified for sustainable features they would need to be solutions that added no cost to the build. Revenue budgets of the service also had to be considered, with further local authority savings on the horizon ideally the new store needed to cost less to run than the old one.

Bolton Library & Museum Service has a wide variety of collections. Textiles and textile machinery from Bolton’s industrial history as a cotton town form a large part of the items housed at the new store. Other collections now held at the store include; Social History, Archives, Egyptology, Ethnography, Geology, Spirit Preserved items and Decorative Art. This range of objects and material types with weights varying from 10tons to less than a gram presented a number of interesting collections care challenges.
The new store is seen as hugely positive for Bolton Museum. In a time of recession and depression the Store move has boosted morale, achieved and exceeded all of its goals.

The Chadwick Resource Centre is now viewed as an excellent example of sustainable development. Lessons have been learnt which will be taken forwards in future Bolton Council projects and importantly for Bolton Museum other museums are now looking to us as leaders in sustainable collections care.

avatar for Pierrette Squires

Pierrette Squires

Conservator, Bolton Museum (Lancashire, UK)
Pierrette Squires is the Conservator for Bolton Library and Museum Service. She received a BSc in Geography & Archaeology from the University of Leicester in 2001, a module in conservation during this degree inspired further conservation training. UCL’s three year conservation... Read More →

Thursday May 29, 2014 9:20am - 9:40am PDT
Grand Ballroom A-C