Argylls’ regimental museum lands £40,000 new funding
MUSEUMS Galleries Scotland, the national development body for the museum sector, has awarded the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Trust £40,000 to enhance the preservation of its unique collection.
The announcement came as the Argylls’ museum at Stirling Castle launched a major public consultation to help design its activities following its forthcoming renovation.
The activities will involve the display of its historically important and fascinating artefacts throughout its traditional central Scotland recruitment area: Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Renfrewshire, Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, and Argyll and the Isles.
The museum will use the MGS grant to create new storage area, with environmental controls and proper facilities to ensure the preservation of the collection well into the future.
Currently about one-third of its priceless collection of militaria and artworks is stored ad hoc within the 400-year- old King’s Old Building at Stirling Castle.
Gillian Simison, investment manager at Museums Galleries Scotland, said: ‘ We are pleased to be able to award Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders museum this funding, which follows a grant of £ 36,930 in 2016 to carry out a collections review and documentation project.
‘This second award will help them to build on the work achieved through that first project, ensuring that not only will the information about the collections be more complete and accessible, but the collections themselves will be better cared for and easier to access.’
Museum chief executive Rob Layden said: ‘The primary purpose of any museum is to care for its artefacts in an environment that will allow these objects to be conserved for future display and research.
‘This generous grant will allow the museum to apply best practice to objects in our reserve collection, ensuring that they are properly managed by reducing damage to the collection resulting in a reduction of future conservation costs and of course allowing objects to be put on future display, so that future generations can enjoy these unique artefacts.’
The award comes as the museum embarks on a major public consultation to gauge public opinion about its future activities and to inform a programme for future public engagement outside of its castle home, following the refurbishment due for completion in 2019.
A survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Argylls is being conducted by consultants Heritage Project Support, who were appointed to develop the project’s activity plan, a critical part of the museum’s submission to HLF.
Sarah Bronsdon, director of Heritage Project Support, which is conducting the outreach work, said: ‘It is not just the building that is changing, it’s the whole way the museum works.
‘ We appreciate that not everyone knows the historical context of the collection, or is able to visit the museum itself for various reasons, so we are reaching out across the recruiting areas to get ideas about bringing the collection out them and sharing its unique contents with local communities.
‘The collection offers many different themes that will interest people. We need to know what is most important to people and how best to get it to them.
‘Responses to our simple 10-minute questionnaire will help shape the content and the activity of the refurbished museum. Anybody, whether they have a connection or an interest in the museum or not, can respond and have a chance to win tickets to visit Stirling Castle.’
The consultation continues until August 25. Paper copies are available from the museum by calling 01786 475165 to request a copy.
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders parade at Stirling Castle, which is home to their regimental museum and its priceless collection. Among the many artefacts are, below, left to right, a 19th- century field surgeon’s equipment, an 18th- century uniform and an officer’s ram’s head snuff box dating from the 19th century.