Conservation and preparation of objects for the Traders Gallery, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Birthe Christensen

The National Maritime Museum’s Conservation team use their knowledge and expertise to conserve and prepare objects for display in support of the Museum’s strategic public access programme. The latest permanent gallery to open is Traders: the East India Company and Asia, exploring Britain’s maritime trade with Asia and focusing on the role played by the East India Company. This gallery has been in preparation for close to five years and contains over 200 objects relating to the story of the East India Company and the impact of its activities on people’s lives in Britain and Asia. The Conservation team has been instrumental in delivering the visual interpretation of this important collection of objects ranging in complexity from personal travel journals to ship models to silk flags. In particular, this paper will explore the range of conservation activities and the disciplines required to meet the overall objectives of the gallery, drawing on three case studies.

Birthe Christensen, Head of Conservation & Preservation, National Maritime Museum

Birthe Christensen is Head of Conservation & Preservation at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. She has held this position since 2007. She originally trained as an archaeological conservator from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, but moved into management of heritage projects relatively early in her career. She has held senior management positions in local authority, university and national museums. In 2001, she was elected fellow of the International Institute of Conservation. She has throughout her career held a strong interest in management theory and practice and in 2005 she obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration from London Metropolitan University. Her current research interest is preservation and management strategies for paper-based material.
Tel: 44 (0)20 858 4422 E-mail: