Old Tools, New Uses

In 2009, the Scottish Transport and Industry Collections Knowledge (STICK) network was awarded the first special project award as part of the Museums Association’s Effective Collections Scheme, supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. This project, called Old Tools, New Uses, aims to identify the treasures and duplicates of tools and domestic technology in Scottish museums. Participants can learn the importance of items in their collections from an independent advisor, have access to a schools resource and get an opportunity to dispose of duplicate items to artisan communities in Africa in partnership with the charity Tools for Self Reliance.  

To learn how you can participate and to meet the independent subject specialist advisor, STICK is holding a series of drop-in workshops where you can benefit from free professional assessment of relevant objects within your collections.  June 9 saw the successful launch of this innovative new project by Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture and External Affairs at The National Piping Centre in Glasgow. Further contributions came from Gordon Rintoul, Director NMS and Sally Cross, Collections Coordinator at the MA; Catherine Gillies of the Hope McDougall Collection and Luke Caley of Tools For Self Reliance.  David Woodcock, STICK’s Subject Specialist Advisor, talked about the cultural and financial benefits of considered and responsible disposal for all museums, large and small. A further workshop was held at Aberdeen’s Cowdray Hall in Aberdeen on 24th June, and two more will follow in September – so please go along and join STICK at the Highland Folk Museum in Kingussie on 7th September or at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh on the 27th September.

All museums in Scotland can get involved by submitting their lists of inventoried objects of domestic appliances, sewing machines, typewriters, woodworking , craft and farm tools, for inclusion in the master catalogue for Scotland being put together by the project. Please send your record lists of relevant objects in the categories above direct to David Woodcock david@researchpod.co.uk or via Megan Combe, m.combe@nms.ac.uk.   

To find out more, please see the STICK website or, if you are interested in attending a workshop, please pre-register with Megan Combe, National Partnerships Officer, National Museums Scotland.  T: 0131 247 4024  E: m.combe@nms.ac.uk. Alternatively, you can contact me by comment or via the MGS website if you have any questions.

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