Heritage Volunteers from The Arts Society Wirral work in small friendly groups to support local museums, archives and institutions by undertaking conservation work. Our members use their skills and talents to provide careful and supervised restoration, cataloguing or research, and enjoy finding hidden treasures or caring for old documents, maps and books. Restored artefacts can be displayed and enjoyed in temporary public exhibitions, used for research projects and conserved for future generations. All our teams receive full training and ongoing supervision to ensure the highest standards.
If you are interested in joining one of our Volunteer Groups please contact us using the contact button below.
Our current projects include long-term work conserving books and prints at The Athenaeum in Liverpool and cataloguing the Lever Brothers archive at Port Sunlight.
New Heritage Volunteering Project
The National Archive Kew has new Remote Work from Home Digitising Project. This will be open to all Arts Society Members.
The area the volunteers will be working in will be the transcribing and noting of all details in copyright materials held in the Archive. In our case this will cover paintings, drawings, advertising and packaging documents and imagery. These will often be mid nineteenth and early twentieth century papers and should be fascinating to work on and as an added bonus, a possible trip down memory lane
Anyone who wants more details please contact
Unilever Archives & Records Management
UARM is currently recruiting volunteers to work in pairs or small groups on a cataloguing project. The project involves repackaging archived advertisements and packaging, listing them by title and giving them a short description in a excel spreadsheet. We would like volunteers to come in once a week for either a whole day or half a day for a period of 8 to 10 weeks. Full training and support will be provided.
For those interested please contact Victoria Howard via email email@example.com.
Some recent discoveries from the Lever Brothers archive
A Daily Mail cartoon from 1934 showing Winston Churchill in the bath. It is a parody of the upper half of the advertisement 'he won't be happy 'till he gets it!'
A cartoon by Heath Robinson about which we no supporting evidence. Probably from around 1920, presumably intended for a advertisement but never used to our knowledge.
A painted terracotta replica of 'You Dirty Boy' for pharmacists to use as a shop display advertisement. Dates from around 1900. The original bronze by Giovanni Foccardi was copied as a coloured print and used in advertising from 1880. Often parodied in political cartoons.
Beautiful church vestments in Liverpool have recently been restored by our skilled textile team, who enjoyed working together on this long-term project
Conservator, Ann Stewart instructing the group on working with acid free heritage paper
The Athenaeum Library, Liverpool
Since 1800 there has been a library at the Athenaeum in Liverpool. It houses over 60,000 books plus many maps, pictures and prints and pamphlets, some of which are very rare and valuable.
Over 200 years of wear and tear have naturally taken their toll on the collection and The Arts Society Wirral along with members of The Arts Society Liverpool and The Arts Society Crosby have, for nearly forty years, been beavering away cleaning and repairing items in the library.
Training is provided by Paper Conservator, Ann Stewart, in use of various grades of Japanese paper, heritage paper and starch paste to help prevent further degradation of the library contents by gentle cleaning techniques, mending torn pages, reattaching front and back boards and repairing broken book collars. If the damage is beyond our ability to repair, acid free boxes or wrappers are made. All work carried out has to be reversible.
Of course, volunteers frequently find they are distracted by the interesting contents of the material being conserved, but there is always satisfaction in returning a book that had been falling apart back to the shelf in a useable condition.
Two volunteers, Rosemary Clifton and Suzanne Cook, working in the Athenaeum library.