Conserve our Collections Event, 2018
03 Aug 2018
On the 6th July we welcomed over 35 guests to our annual Conserve our Collections event. This year it was held at the London Metropolitan Archives, due to the ongoing building work at the RCS site. It was an opportunity to promote the scheme and allow guests to view items that are not normally available for public view.
As part of the evening, Thalia Knight gave a comprehensive presentation on the decant work that had taken place within the Library, Archives and Museums which was vital for the ongoing transformation of the RCS Barry Building which is due to reopen in 2021.
This year our guest speaker was Dr Druin Burch, a physician and author whose titles include ‘Digging up the Dead’ and ‘Taking the Medicine’. He talked about “The Life of Sir Astley Cooper”. Afterwards, guests were able to see a selection of items including from the College’s collections included:
- Sir Astley Cooper’s Observations on the structure and diseases of the testis (1830). (From the Library’s collections.)
- A volume containing illustrated notes of cases treated by Cooper, 1802-1809. The volume has been conserved. It contains pencil notes of various cases treated by Sir Astley Cooper, arranged according to illness/disease. (From the Archives.)
- Notes of the lectures on surgery given by Mr Astley Cooper at St Thomas’s Hospital, 1797, manuscript lecture notes taken at the lectures of Sir Astley Cooper by Thomas Appleby, surgeon of Castleton requiring conservation. (From the Archives.)
- A mid-19th century, French porcelain drug jar with cover with an inscription “CONF: OPII”, decorated with green and pink foliate motifs, and gilt detailing. The jar has a crack running though the decoration on the front of it. (From the Museum.)
- Case of cataract instruments, formally the property of James Wardrop (1782-1860). (From the Museum.)
Collections staff were on hand to answer guests’ questions about the items on display, with lively discussions enjoyed by both sides.
We would like to thank everyone who supports the Conserve our Collections scheme and helps make this important conservation work possible. Since the scheme launched in 2013, over £31,000 has been raised, allowing us to conserve 56 items form our Library, Museum and Archive collections.
Nicola Extance-Vaughan, Legacy, Appeals and Office Manager