Project Summary:

This new build project was to incorporate collections form Heritage Doncaster (Museum & Art Gallery and KOYLI Regimental Museum), as well as combining various departments from Doncaster Councils portfolio, including Libraries, Archives and Local Studies.
This projects also saw the closing and consolidation of four existing buildings (Doncaster Central Library, Doncaster Archives, Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery and the Library Services for Schools into one dynamic central hub for culture and learning. The four existing buildings are older buildings requiring significant repair. Money would need to be spent on making these improvements and even then, they could not offer the types of modern services required for residents.

The new building was designed to incorporate the restored frontage of the old Girls School which was dormant for many years, incorporating 4,580m2 of modern and flexible space set over four floors.

The new space also has elements that support training and business opportunities within the borough, as well as displaying objects that have been in reserve collections for some time and offering an enhanced library service environment .

The projects cost is around £17 million to build, with funding coming from the councils capitol budget as well as Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council funding. The project is planned to end with the opening of the new building in Summer 2020.

 
It was also decided as part of this project to consolidate storage and collections from various departments of the Council into one storage facility. This included reserve collections from the Museum & Art Gallery, Archives, Local Studies and Library book stock. This included looking at various options for this, mainly the re-purposing of the existing Museum & Art Gallery into a large storage facility, research  and volunteer centre.

Work Carried Out :

  • Provide input and advice at regular design meetings for the new build. Liaise with curators, managers, architects mechanical and electrical designers and offer advice as required.

  • Provide collections care advice for display and suitability of all displays, including environmental recommendations for temperature, humidity, light, pollutants, physical damage and other elements of correct display.

  • Provide practical advice for the installation of exhibits and recommendations for the associated use of non-collections areas.

  • Check all new build data sheets for specification of each room to check this is in line with current standards for objects on display and in storage.

  • Provide information on and check designs for new GIS (Government Indemnity Scheme) galleries and storage areas.

  • Write report for the storage of all reserve collections for museums, art work, archives, local studies and library book stock. This includes collating together quantities of incoming material, their storage requirements, environmental zoning and safe practical access and use. This was to include all current European and British standards for the conservation of cultural heritage. Particular attention was paid to the current standards for the storage and exhibition of archival materials where large amounts of improvements were required to the building.

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Graham Key: Conservation & Restoration

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