Conservation For Wellbeing

The Stuart Low Trust is delighted to announce a new Arts project ‘Conservation for Wellbeing’, run in partnership with The London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) and Restoration Trust (TRT). Together we are piloting a series of sessions in June and July. It is exclusively for SLT participants and is free to attend. 

Together, SLT, LMA, TRT and C4W have a shared ethos for facilitating innovative projects, supporting those with mental distress and social isolation.  

What is Conservation for Wellbeing? 

Conservation for Wellbeing (C4W) is a project that combines conservation, archives and mental health. As well as practising conservation, SLT participants will gain behind-the-scenes knowledge of how heritage collections are protected and cared for at London Metropolitan Archives. 

Using original archives from St Luke’s Hospital in Islington, (founded in 1751 to look after mental ill people, and closed in 2011), this exclusive C4W programme, is a completely new way of engaging people who live with mental health problems, with heritage and creativity.

“We want to invite people to a new project which aims to provide behind-the-scenes experiences of how archives are used and cared for at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA). We will talk about the sort of heritage collections at LMA and how we keep our own collections of papers, photographs and objects – the things that have meaning for us in our own lives. Participants will take part, in a safe and welcoming environment, in practical conservation methods and see how these techniques help to protect fragile books, documents and photographs.”

– Helen Lindsay, Restoration Trust

Who are the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) and Restoration Trust (RT)? 

With over 100km of books, maps, photographs, films and documents dating back to 1067, LMA provide access to one of the finest city archives in the world – you could call it the memory of London. 

RT works in partnership with heritage/arts and health/social care bodies to provide ‘culture therapy, which supports those with mental health issues enjoy heritage, art and culture.  

More about the Stuart Low Trust Conservation for Wellbeing Project. 

The Project comprises 3 x free sessions at LMA in June/July 2022, with qualified conservators at LMA’s Conservation Studio in Islington.  

Session 1: Orientation – Discover LMA’s history, meet the conservators, explore tools and equipment in the Conservation studios, see some of the documents archived there. 

Session 2: Introduction to Archive Conservation – Experience what an archive and ‘conservation’ is. Discover how to handle precious documents. Learn about damage and condition and how to protect and conserve.  

Session 3: Protecting Archives – Discover how protection of collections differ. Learn how to use a box measurer and rulers – specialised tools/materials in book conservation. See other forms of protection packaging and how they are made in the boxing machine.  

I would like to attend. How do I book? 

Booking is essential. Places are limited.  

Participants need to be able to commit to all 3 sessions. 

Please email or telephone 020 7713 9304.   

C4W is kindly funded by City Bridge Trust, supported by LMA.

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