Become an Archive and Conservation Volunteer

Sutton Hoo conservation volunteers help with the Lack and Wagstaff collection

Try something new and become an Archive and Conservation Volunteer at Sutton Hoo! Help us preserve our archives for ever for everyone whilst developing new skills, uncovering the social history of Sutton Hoo and making new friends.

Our current focus is on our Slide Archives, helping to organise and digitise the slide collection at Sutton Hoo.

Our Archive and Conservation Volunteers will be looking after the slides taken from three of the different archaeological campaigns that have taken place at Sutton Hoo since 1939, as well as an extra set kindly donated by Professor Martin Carver (Director of the Sutton Hoo Research Trust and responsible for the 1980s archaeological campaign) from his 1980s and 1990s digs.

The work is currently in two stages – digitisation and organisation. The slides donated by Martin Carver still need organising and all of it is in the process of being digitised.

Volunteers being trained in image conservation
Volunteers being trained in image conservation
Volunteers being trained in image conservation

What’s involved?

Slide digitisation:

  • Digitising slides using a slide scanner and computer software
  • Electronically renaming and filing the scanned images
  • Updating a spreadsheet to catalogue the scanned images

Slide organisation:

  • The set of slides we hold is split into two groups of identical slides; one labelled with even and one labelled with odd numbers; you will be checking what we have from both groups and identifying where there are gaps
  • Recording findings on a computer spreadsheet

Previous projects have included working with the Mercie Lack and Barbara Wagstaff photo album collection, carefully conserving the images and learning how to care for them.

The photos needed surface cleaning to remove dust and dirt which could cause damage and new supports creating to hold them within their albums. Our volunteers were able to work with our specialist photographic material conservators to help ensure this vital collection remains in good condition for the future.

By volunteering with Sutton Hoo as an Archive and Conservation Volunteer, you will be helping us preserve this unique history, making it more accessible to all.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, why not drop us an email to find out more? Contact Sally on: Sally.Metcalf@nationaltrust.org.uk for all the details!