2018: Recovery Project – A Year in Review

As 2018 draws to a close, we look back at the work which has taken place as part of the Recovery Project since the 2014 fire.  A huge amount of work has been undertaken and so we focus on just some aspects here.

Conservation & Repackaging

The project to repackage our textiles is nearing completion with over 300 items sorted, measured, labelled and packaged into trays and folders.  Some of the larger textiles are being repackaged thanks to six textile conservation students from University of Glasgow, rolling them onto conservation-grade tubes, wrapping them in Melinex polyester and labelling.  Further details on this can be found on our blog.

DC 075/8 Margaret Stewart rolled textile

 Rolled textiles

The first textile to be rolled, a Margaret Stewart printed textile (DC 075/8), and 144 textiles rolled by the end of 2018

Paper conservation is ongoing and is scheduled to be completed in the spring.  Object conservation has been completed, with textile conservation due to start in spring 2019. FT Cloth before conservation

FT Cloth after conservation

This textile design from The Cloth suffered water damage in the 2014 fire – the piece has now been mounted and the paper pieces which had become detached have been replaced (DC 089/1/2/4) 

Carron Iron work before
Carron Iron work after

Carron Iron Works Sampler before and after conservation (NMC/515)

Plaster Casts Visualisation

The Archives and Collections have been involved in an AHRC-funded project undertaken by GSA’s School of Simulation and Visualisation and ISO, to create an immersive 3D experience using our Laocoӧn cast. A first prototype of this visualisation was seen by the team in October, and we were able to provide valuable feedback.

Laocoon Visualisation

Hands-on experience of the Laocoӧn Visualisation Project 

Digitisation Project

We are undertaking a huge project to digitise more of our collections, covering 60,000 captures of items. This includes internal photography of our 3D items, and external, outsourced digitisation of our 2D items.

We have spent the last few months digitising textiles within our collection, to provide virtual access and generate surrogate copies of the items within our collection. The images created will also be used in our online catalogue.  Next up, we will be moving on to objects.

Textile photography

A banner being photographed as part of the digitisation project (TSW/79)


We are working to migrate our catalogue and collections management software from Archon to AtoM, and it is intended that this will go live next year. This will enable us to add even more information and images to our online catalogue.

Information about which collections were destroyed or damaged in the 2014 fire is included in our catalogue, click here to explore the full list. This subject index can be used to find images of material affected by the fire but the full list is a better starting point for those looking for an itemisation of the impact of this event on our collections.

If you’d like to find out more about how the Archives and Collections team have been working with experts to repair and conserve collections damaged in the 2014 you can read about this elsewhere on our blog.