The Primrose Project - improving care for Southwest’s photographic history - delivers 140% value.
Who took part
Almost every one of the 544 museums and collections in the southwest has valuable collections of photographs which staff and volunteers have been struggling to look after. This year, 92 staff and volunteers from more than 10% of the southwest’s museums have benefited from an innovative scheme run by Helena Jaeschke, the CDO based at RAMM and funded by Renaissance Southwest.
Every museum taking part signed a ten step charter of photograph care. Seven training days were organised across the region, from Gloucester to Cornwall, led by the skilled and experienced photographic conservator Sarah Allen, who previously worked at RAMM. She explained the different processes used in photography and the conditions that can cause damage. She showed how people can safely sort, identify, clean and re-house their collections properly and each museum received illustrated guidelines and factsheets and a big bag of archival quality supplies to start their own repacking projects. One delegate was so enthused he went straight back to his museum and started the project the same day.
The museums are now busy cleaning and repacking their photographs, with a helpline run by Sarah if they have further problems or queries. Several have applied for grants so that they can buy more materials and continue the good work.
How has this project achieved 140% value?
If each museum had organised this project separately and bought the materials themselves it would have cost almost 40% more. By running the project across the region we managed to save £3,920 whilst making a huge difference to the future of the southwest’s historical collections of photographs.