We set up our Looking for Londoners gallery to give us a space to focus on our archaeological collections. Our most recent display, Revealing the Past, looks at the work of the museum’s archaeological conservators — the staff who preserve and protect excavated objects, making them ready for display and keeping them from further decay. Over the years we’ve worked on thousands of objects and have discovered fascinating details only visible under the microscope — details this exhibition reveals to our visitors.
Conservation is crucial to any institution that collects and preserves cultural heritage. Most large museums have a team of conservators, sometimes specialists in particular materials or areas such as collection care. Small museums may not have a conservator on staff or may have just one conservator with general conservation knowledge, and call in specialists when needed.