Ar­gylls’ reg­i­men­tal mu­seum lands £40,000 new fund­ing

The Oban Times - - HERITAGE -

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.

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