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I'm on the Organising Committee of the EVA London conference series - Electronic Visualisation and the Arts. I review articles for the journal, Museum Management and Curatorship.

Planning and countryside

I also monitor planning applications on behalf of the CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) in the beautiful and relatively unspoilt countryside of south Wiltshire and north Dorset. This has meant getting to grips with planning legislation - a constantly moving picture. It has also sparked an interest in landscape and the values of countryside.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy

I am also interested in energy efficiency and renewable energy, especially for old houses. Museums have had to pioneer energy efficient measures such as thorough draught proofing and insulation in order to keep those delicate objects stable and happy, so conservators have a head start in this important field.

Research and authoring

I research and author articles and books. My latest book, co-authored with Francesca Monti, is Museums and Silent Objects - all about how to design and evaluate exhibitions for their ability to engage audiences.

My recent research project investigated how much the stored collections of museums were used by and available to the public, and it attracted a lot of interest. It Few people realise that 90% of museum collections are in store and seldom seen. The report is: Collections for people: museums' stored collections as a public resource.

Before that ...

Museum and collections management

In the recent past I've directed the MA in Museum Studies at University College London. Before that I was a senior manager in museums, running the collections, most recently as Head of Collections Management in the Science Museum and Head of Conservation in the Museum of London. In both museums, I developed and introduced many new ways of managing and planning for collections care and digitisation.


My first jobs were in archaeology - at the British School at Rome, a postgraduate institution, where I was the Director's assistant - and then in the famous excavations in Winchester. I was the finds conservator, draughtsman and then editor and organiser of the finds publication volumes. I moved on to the Museum of London managing archaeological conservation (during the excavation of the fabulous waterlogged sites along the Thames in the 1980's) and then as Head of the Conservation Department.

The Winchester Reliquary

In 1972 archaeologists in Winchester uncovered a small heavily corroded copper alloy object, in a rubbish pit. I undertook its conservation and organised the scientific examination. It turned out to be a gilded Anglo Saxon purse reliquary complete with relic (we never opened it to see what this would be, as it was so deteriorated we felt sure it would be a sad anticlimax). You can see it on display in Winchester City Museum, along with many other beautiful and remarkable finds.