Museum Support - and lots of it

Helen Williams conserving Marbled Slipware Dish early Eighteenth CenturyAthelstan Museum enjoys help provided by Wiltshire Council through their Conservation and Museums Advisory Service (CMAS).

This help takes the form of advice, both over the phone and through periodic visits to the museum. We are also given an agreed amount of conservation work and there is more available if we pay for it.

With other Wiltshire museums Wiltshire Council museum service has set as targets for 20010/11

  1. Continuation of the Accreditation Standards attained by Wiltshire Museums.
  2. Increasing learning opportunities in Wiltshire museums including provision within museums.
  3. Achieving 310,000 visitors to Wiltshire museums in the financial year 2010 -2011.

To blow our own trumpet, in the first year that Friends of Athelstan Museum took over the running of the museum visitor numbers increased five fold on the previous year. In 2010 we have increased our numbers to over 10 times the original figure and welcomed our 50,000 visitor through the door.

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council through their Renaissance South West programme also provide helpful advice. In addition we have found that any approach to a neighbouring museum is always helpfully dealt with - and there is a wealth of experience on which to draw!

Modes Database

MODES is a specialised database for museums. It enables items in the collection to be catalogued and accessed under a number of headings, along with accompanying images. The collection of Athelstan museum, over 4000 items is catalogued using MODES. This is common practice in the museums of Wiltshire.

Using this system enables all Wiltshire Museums to readily exchange information and produce a shared database maintained by the Museums Advisory Service.