The New Forest Heritage Centre receives grants to care for its collection

For the common good: conserving the Crosthwaite Eyre collection

The New Forest Heritage Centre is delighted to announce that it has received a generous grant from Hampshire Archives Trust (HAT) to enable it to undertake much needed conservation work on the Crosthwaite Eyre archives. Thanks to HAT’s generous support, the project, ‘For the common good: conserving the Crosthwaite Eyre collection’, will begin in September with conservation expertise provided by Hampshire Record Office.

The project will stabilise, clean and repackage the archives and include opportunities for volunteers to participate in six conservator-led workshops to gain understandings of collections-care theory and practical conservation skills. The project will also feature a half-day symposium to convey the project’s outcomes, discuss the historical significance of the Crosthwaite Eyre collection, and the scope and potential for making it more widely accessible. This project is intended to provide a foundation for a future project to catalogue the collection comprehensively and make it available online.

Mary Montagu-Scott, Chair of the New Forest Heritage Trust, said, “We are indebted to the generosity of HAT and the conservation skills of the Hampshire Record Office in helping us look after one of the most important collections we hold. We exist to look after objects in our care and to interpret and share them with our many visitors and supporters.”

The Crosthwaite Eyre archive was donated to the New Forest Heritage Centre by Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre, former Official Verderer (chairperson) of the Verderers (the judicial officers of a royal forest), and former chairperson of the New Forest Park Authority. The Crosthwaite Eyre collection is unique and historically significant locally, regionally and nationally. It speaks to some of the most profound issues of today, including the climate emergency, social justice and public access to the natural environment. The collection also highlights the enduring importance of the unique landscape and human history of the New Forest.

If you are interested in conservation and preservation and can demonstrate manual dexterity handling documents and objects, then please go to the New Forest Heritage Centre website where volunteering opportunities will be advertised later this month:

Collections Care funding award

The New Forest Heritage Centre has also been awarded a Collections Care grant by Museum Development South East (SEMD). The funding will pay for a preventive conservator to complete a sampled condition audit of the collections held by the New Forest Heritage Trust and assess which risks are actively causing damage to the collections or have the potential to.

An action plan will also be created to aid the Centre to make the best use of resources and implement targeted collection care measures. Improved preventive conservation measures will ensure long-term preservation and access to the collections.