Specific responsibility: Overall responsibility for the department and general policy on collections management and conservation.
This section manages the policies, procedures and standards relating to Collections Information. This involves documentation and information storage issues. The section also manages strategic projects to standardise information within the National Museums Scotland Collections Information System (AdLib).
This section provides a photographic service to all departments. This includes object photography for record, conservation and publication purposes. The section also undertakes specific imaging projects in house and in partnership, and is involved in digitisation projects.
This section manages the policies, procedures and standards relating to Collections Care. Specifically this involves the section in managing storage, object movement and handling, preventive conservation, environment and security for the collections. It also develops strategic planning and resources for collections care in liaison with curatorial departments, conservation and facilities management.
The Registrars team is part of the Collections Care section. The team manages the delivery of National Museums Scotland’s incoming and outgoing loans programme, coordinating all practical arrangements including security and venue assessments, packing, transport, insurance/indemnity and documentation. They also provide support to Collections staff undertaking acquisitions and disposals, and offer training and guidance in areas such as couriering, due diligence and Immunity from Seizure to ensure procedures are implemented effectively and the Museum remains accountable for our collections and those in our care on loan.
The textile collections include costume, tapestry, flags and banners as well as smaller objects like samplers, embroidery and accessories. The paper collections feature works of art, archives, photographs and social history documents including materials as diverse as papyrus and mica.
This section covers remedial and preventive conservation on archaeological (including wet / waterlogged objects from land and marine sites and objects coming through the Treasure Trove system), historical and ethnographic objects as well as objects of a fairly recent age.
The Engineering section works on a wide range of objects, including transport collections and aircraft. They are also responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of working models, engines and clocks on exhibition and for working and engineering artefacts at all sites. The Furniture Conservator is responsible for the treatment and care of fine furniture and wooden artefacts throughout the collections.
The Collection Science section examines archaeological and historical objects by scientific methods to gain information about their condition, technology, history and use. Inorganic and organic materials are analysed by non-destructive and micro-analytical techniques in-house, with metals, ceramics, plastics and natural dyes being specialities.