Conserving First World War objects

Over the past few weeks our conservation volunteers have been hard at work at Leeds Discovery Centre on some special objects for a new First World War exhibition. 

They have been preparing a number of objects selected by our youth curators group, the Preservative Party, for display in the upcoming In Their Footsteps exhibition at Leeds City Museum.

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Alexandra cleans a piece of medical equipment

The Conservation Process

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Jill Cleaning part of the Medal Collection

All the objects were condition checked and then the volunteers got to work on objects that need a little tender loving care before they can be displayed.

Some just required cleaning with cotton wool swabs and deionised water. Others required a little more effort with conservation grade polish and microcrystalline wax. They all have a story to tell.

Conserving Medals 

We are also displaying some of our medals in the new exhibition. The medal cleaning and rehousing project was the first conservation volunteer project that we ran nearly five years ago. The team documented, photographed, cleaned and re-packaged the entire medal collection. 

We have managed to fill 34 albums with a vast range of medals from this country and worldwide. There are a lot from the First World War period, not just from this country but many from overseas too. 

The Conservation Volunteer Team

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Some of the Medal Cleaning Team: Michael, Jill, Carol, David & Victor

The conservation volunteers have been working with me every other Thursday down at Leeds Discovery Centre for nearly five years. They are a very diverse group of people with an interest in history and preserving the past for future generations.  


By Emma Bowron, Conservator

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