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Salon: Issue 342
10 May 2015

Next issue: 31 May 2015*
*There will be no e-newsletter during the bank holiday weekend.


The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of news from the heritage sector. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contribution that the Society's Fellows make to public life. Like the intellectual salons of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, it aims to amuse and to stimulate debate as well as to inform. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website. News and feedback for publication in Salon should be addressed to the Salon Editor.
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Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary


Council Publishes Statement of Core Values

Fellows who attended the Anniversary Meeting or watched the President’s address online will have heard our President refer to the Society’s new 'Statement of Values.' This document was prepared on behalf of Council by a small group of trustees consisting of the President, Paul Drury, John Hines, Stephanie Moser and Jeremy Warren, and can be found on the Society’s website ('About Us'). The purpose of the Statement is perhaps best described in the document’s introduction:   
 
'The "Statement of Values" outlines the core values that the Society supports and advocates in relation to its overall mission and strategy. The statement articulates what makes the Society distinctive, what drives the Society and what role the Society envisages for itself in the future. The values encapsulated in the statement focus on the Society’s commitment to pursuing research excellence, endorsing the premise that sound investigation facilitates understanding of the significance of the past and its meaning to multiple audiences. Additionally, the Statement of Values champions the relevance of archaeological and historic remains to contemporary society, asserting the value of ancient and historic monuments, artefacts and artworks in terms of their social, cultural and economic value as well as their intellectual and scientific importance.'
 

Exhibition Update: Magna Carta Through the Ages

There are still opportunities for Fellows (and others!) to get involved. We'll soon be scheduling volunteer training workshops; if you would like to learn more about how you can help with the exhibition, please contact Head of Library and Collections Heather Rowland as soon as possible.
 

Open House London: 19 September 2015

The Society invites all Fellows to consider volunteering for our annual Open House London guided tours of our apartments on Saturday, 19 September. Tours will run from 10.00 to 17.00, and we welcome volunteers for all or part of the day. Email the Society's Communications Officer, Renée LaDue, to express an interest in volunteering. She will maintain a list of volunteers and be in touch later in the summer with details about the different ways to help.
 

May Bank Holiday Closures: 25 May


The Society's apartments (including the Library) will be closed on 25 May for the late May bank holiday. The Society and its Library will open again on Tuesday, 26 May – which is also the opening day of Magna Carta Through the Ages.
 

Forthcoming Ordinary Meetings of Fellows


There are no further Ordinary Meetings of Fellows until October (details of the autumn programme of meetings and events for Fellows will be posted with our July newsletter mailing to Fellows). However, listed below are special events for Fellows and their Guests that we have planned in the meantime.

28 May: Summer Soirée and Fellows' Private View of Magna Carta Through the Ages
Fellows are invited to join us for a special private view of the Society's summer exhibition, Magna Carta Through the Ages, which opens to the public on 26 May. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Society's Executive Assistant, Jola Zduneck, by email (admin@sal.org.uk) or by phone (020 7479 7080). Details can be found on the Society's website at www.sal.org.uk/events.

24 July: Fellows' Day at Kelmscott Manor
Fellows and their guests are invited to enjoy a special private day at Kelmscott Manor (Friday, 24 July 2016, 14.00 to 17.00). Details are available at www.sal.org.uk/events. Please contact Kelmscott Manor with questions.

6 August: Fellows' Private View of Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt
This summer, the Society is lending one of its most well-known objects, the Bosworth Cross, to the Palace Green Library for the exhibition Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt. To celebrate this important loan, the Society has organised a Fellows' private view of the exhibition. Tickets are £12.00 each and can be booked online or by contacting our Executive Assistant (admin@sal.org.uk; 020 7479 7080). Information and booking details are online at www.sal.org.uk/events.

Forthcoming Public Lectures & Magna Carta Through the Ages (26 May to 31 July)


Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays. These lectures are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of forthcoming lectures can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.

26 May – 30 June: Magna Carta Through the Ages Six-Week Public Lecture Series
During the first six weeks of the Society's much-anticipated Magna Carta Through the Ages exhibition, there will be a weekly public lecture focused on exploring the impact of the 'Great Charter' around the world and throughout history.

These lectures are well on their way to being fully booked already, so you are advised to book early to avoid disappointment! More information can be found on the Society's website at www.sal.org.uk/events or www.sal.org.uk/magna-carta.

19 June: Magna Carta Museum Late
Join us for a unique opportunity to explore the exhibition, Magna Carta Through the Ages, after hours with special programming and a cash bar. Details online at www.sal.org.uk/events.


 

17 September 2015: 'The Cultural Legacy of the Battle of Agincourt, 1415-2015' (Conference, Society of Antiquaries)


The Battle of Agincourt has come to mean much more than simply a battle fought in northern France on 25 October 1415 between the English and French. Over the centuries it has stimulated literary, artistic and musical outputs. It has also been used as a symbol of British identity as well as of family ancestral pride, even in cases where participation in the battle is dubious. There are claims of objects associated with the battle, as well as problematic early excavations. Major wars have stimulated new interest, especially the Napoleonic wars and the First World War. This day conference explores these themes and others to explain why Agincourt has generated such a legacy in antiquarian traditions as well as in the popular psyche.

This full-day conference has been organised by Fellow Anne Curry. Tickets are £20.00 per person and can be booked online or by contacting our Executive Assistant (admin@sal.org.uk, 020 7479 7080). Details of the conference (including a full programme and booking details) are available at www.sal.org.uk/events.
 

Regional Fellows Groups


Stay up to date with Regional Fellows events by logging into the Fellows' Area of the website and checking the 'Fellows' Discussion Forum', where forthcoming events are posted.


Welsh Fellows

Friday, 5 June: Meeting at Blaenavon Ironworks.
 

South West Fellows

Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/MvHUr
 

York Fellows

Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/8nvxL
 

Other Regional Events

Sunday, 21 June (13.30): Fellow and Reviews Editor for the Society, Tom James, and Fellow and former Salon Editor, Christopher Catling, are organising a group outing for Fellows in Cheltenham (see the initial post in Salon 229). RSVP by Monday, 1 June. Advanced booking is required. Contact Christopher Catling to confirm.
 

Historic England Research

 
Historic England has published the first issue of Historic England Research, an online magazine that reports on discovery, innovation and science in the historic environment.  Produced twice a year alongside Conservation Bulletin, it is the successor to Research News, published by English Heritage. The magazine is intended to keep its readers up to date with the applied research undertaken by, or funded by, Historic England.  
 
The first issue reports on research into a diverse range of topics including Nottingham's man-made caves, post-war housing for the elderly, the latest applications of drones and ground-penetrating radar for survey and the archaeology of the First World War in the shape of both practice trenches in Northumberland and the remains of the fierce battle fought for the North Sea War Channel. 
 
The magazine can be read and subscribed to on the new Historic England website or downloaded as a PDF.
 

Protection of Underwater Heritage

 
On 7 May, the UK National Commission for UNESCO issued Policy Brief 17, UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage: Next Steps for the UK Government. Underwater Cultural Heritage is a live issue, and there is growing pressure on the UK government to act. In the light of the conclusion of the recent Impact Review and the growing number of States who have ratified the UNESCO Convention, it is timely for the UK government to revisit its position. In this policy brief, the UK National Commission for UNESCO considers the implications for the UK of ratifying the Convention. The Policy Brief may be downloaded from the UKNC website.
 

SMA Response to the Prehistoric Society Statement on Research Access to Museum Collections

 
Having read the Prehistoric Society’s statement relating to museums reported to be charging researchers for access to museum collections (Salon: Issue 339, 29 March 2015), the Society for Museum Archaeology Committee, chaired by Fellow Gail Boyle, would like to make the following observations:

'The SMA Committee agrees with the principle that museums which hold collections on behalf of the public should endeavour to make them available for research purposes free of charge. It is a fact, however, that providing access to collections, whether they are in store or on public display, is a service that does not come without a cost. Since the Prehistoric Society statement did not make clear exactly what charges are being levied, where and in what context, SMA decided to survey its own members in order to gauge how widespread a practice this is and in what circumstances charges were being made. It would appear from the responses received that no more than a handful of institutions across the whole of the UK are making any charges at all and where this does happen only in extremis, or to reflect real costs incurred in doing so. The SMA Committee does not believe, for example, that it is unethical for museums to recover the cost of transporting collections that go out for study purposes, nor for curators to make a charge for undertaking specific pieces of lengthy detailed research for individual projects that should be undertaken by the researchers themselves.

'However the Committee does not believe that charging, where this exists, poses the greatest threat to the provision of access and that this has rather more to do with the ever-dwindling numbers of specialist curators employed in museums and serious underfunding. The museum sector is being hit especially hard by swingeing financial cuts to public services and the vast majority of institutions that collect and curate archaeological material are non-statutory services provided by local authorities. There are now whole areas of the country where there are few (if any) curators with any form of archaeological expertise and in some cases none with any curatorial expertise at all. Unfortunately many of these jobs are being ‘deleted’ behind closed doors as the result of internal staff reviews and restructuring processes: the issue of the provision of any form of access is academic therefore where no one is left to provide it, charged for or not. The Committee would entirely agree with the Prehistoric Society’s view that "Having appropriate and sufficient curatorial staff is clearly vital to service this crucial means of furthering our knowledge of the past."

'Several respondents to the SMA survey raised the question of what constituted a "bona fide" researcher since many believe that no distinction should be made between anyone wishing to visit or study collections and that all collections visitors are therefore "bona fide." This is a view the SMA Committee would endorse. The point was also made that members of the general public are frequently disadvantaged by having to pay entrance fees to museums or exhibitions, whilst academic researchers are afforded research access to collections completely free of charge and that this in itself might be viewed as iniquitous but not unethical.
 
'With regard to the advancement of collections based knowledge, several SMA members made comments in support of the view that enabling access for research purposes was mutually beneficial but that many researchers had unrealistic expectations with regard to facilities, timescales or the level of detail that might be provided. Providing access to collections is one of many work priorities that today’s hard-pressed curators have to balance and the return on the time they invest in doing so is not always proportionate, especially where research questions are badly framed or the results are not readily shared with the museum or across the wider sector. The extremes may involve undergraduates that are ill-prepared for research who require coaching and results published in journals that can only be accessed by expensive subscriptions beyond the means of many museums.

'The SMA Committee understands that the Museums Association’s ethics committee will be examining this matter in further detail later in the year and looks forward to being consulted in its capacity as an SSN. In the meantime it has resolved to draft a pro forma research agreement that will enable museum curators to negotiate and balance the expectations of researchers with the requirements of museums alike.'

The Society for Museum Archaeology is recognised by Arts Council England as the Subject Specialist Network for British Archaeology and as such provides a focus for the expertise and collections knowledge of collections managers, keepers and curators throughout the UK. The objective of SMA is to promote active museum involvement in all aspects of archaeology and to emphasise the essential role of museums within the archaeological discipline.
 

News of Fellows


A Rothschild Renaissance: The Waddesdon Bequest is a new publication by Dr Dora Thornton. The book explores the Waddesdon Bequest, the name given to the Kunstkammer or cabinet collection of Renaissance treasures which was bequeathed to the British Museum by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, MP in 1898. The Bequest is named after Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, a fairy tale French chateau built by Baron Ferdinand fro m 1874 83, where the collection was housed during his lifetime. Dr Thornton is curator of the Waddesdon Bequest at the British Museum, which will go on public display in a new galley at the Museum beginning 11 June.

This month's Museums Journal included an article on Prof David Gaimster, currently Director of The Hunterian (University of Glasgow). The article mentioned some of the intiatives the Society of Antiquaries of London undertook during Prof Gaimster's time as General Secretary, including the tercentenary exhibition, Making History, which started at the Royal Academy and went on to tour the UK and North America. Read 'Gown and Town', about academic research at The Hunterian, online.

Director of the Landmark Trust Anna Keay published an interesting blog post in March about her experience (and the role of the Landmark Trust) at Hougoumont (a walled farmyard at Waterloo). This year, 2015, marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, and the Trust consulted on the restoration of the site (begun in 2013 and completed in time for the bicentenary next month).

Matthew P. Canepa has been named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in support of a multi-volume research project on the development of the visual cultures and spatial environments of power in Persia and the ancient Iranian world. Prof Canepa will spend the next academic year finishing a book entitled The Iranian Expanse, which explores the interrelation and transformation of ancient Iranian landscapes, architecture and identities. He also plans to continue work on a long-term project, "Royal Glory, Divine Fortune," which examines the contested image of Iranian sovereignty between Alexander and Islam.

Dr Mark Staniforth (Flinders University, Australia) will be among a distinguished group of volunteer trainers for the Institute of Archaeology (IA) in Hanoi, which will be hosting a four-week underwater archaeology field school at Hoi An in Vietnam this summer. The field school is supported and funded by SEAMEO SPAFA and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) and has made an application for UNESCO patronage. One of the main aims is to develop awareness of, and capacity building in, Vietnamese and South East Asian maritime and underwater archaeology and the management, investigation and protection of maritime and underwater cultural heritage in the region. Trainees and team leaders will come from a number of countries in the region including Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia. Regular updates will be posted on the Vietnam Maritime Archaeology Project Centre Facebook page.
 

Memorials to Fellows


Twitter user @Stiffleaf spotted this memorial to Peter Hoare, FSA (1834) – who was also 'Foreign Secretary of the Royal Academy' and a 'Member of the Royal Society of Literature'.


 

Lives Remembered: Anna Morpurgo Davies, FSA


Professor Anna Morpurgo Davies, DBE, FSA, FBA (Historical linguist who unlocked the secrets of Ancient Greek and Anatolian) died in 2014, aged 77. An obituary for Anna can be found on The Guardian.

On Saturday, 20 June, Somerville College, and the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics and the Faculty of Classics at the University of Oxford will host a celebration of the life and work of Professor Davies at the Somerville College Chapel. The event will begin at 14.30, and refreshments will be served afterwards in Somerville's Hall. If you are interested in attending, please email elizabeth.cooke@some.ox.ac.uk.

Anna was a Lecturer in Classical Philology (1964–1971), Professor of Comparative Philology (1971–2004), Fellow of Somerville College (1971–2004) and Emeritus Fellow (2004–2014).
 

Forthcoming Heritage Events


16–17 May 2015: Golden Weekend (Open Days at 25 Landmark Trust sites)
To commemorate its 50th Anniversary, the Landmark Trust is opening 25 sites across England, Scotland and Wales for a special celebratory weekend – many of which have never before (or only rarely) been open to the public. The buildings have been carefully picked so that 95 per cent of the British population will be within 50 miles of an open Landmark.

2 June 2015: 'Archival Afterlives: Life, Death, and Knowledge-Making in Early Modern Scientific and Medical Archives,' (Conference, Royal Society of London)
Further information and registration details available online.

4–5 June 2015: 'Heraldry and Piracy in an Age of Chivalry...' (Conference, Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter)
For details, download the information sheet. To register, please email n.ramsay@ucl.ac.uk.

5 June 2015: 'New Approaches to Historic Urban Landscapes' (ICOMOS-UK and ICOMOS Ireland Joint Summer Meeting and Conference, Edinburgh)
In its 50th anniversary year, ICOMOS-UK is exploring one of the great world heritage cities, Edinburgh, in partnership with ICOMOS Ireland. Visit the website for details.

13 June 2015: 'Virtuosity and Variety: Silver Research and Patronage Today' (Seminar, The Silver Society, London)
Several Fellows will be speaking at this seminar during the Art Antiques London summer fair. Download this PDF for details.

22-28 June 2015: Chalke Valley History Festival
The programme of speakers includes Fellow Caroline Dakers ('The History of Fonthill', 25 June). Find out more about the programme of events on the Festival's website.

26 June 2015: 'Gold Boxes: Manufacture and Marketing From the 18th Century to the Present Day: A Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection Study Day (The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge)
This day conference is by ticket only (£10). Details available on the attached PDF.

6 July 2015: 'The Lushingtons and Their Circle' (Surrey History Centre)
This is a free lecture by Dr David Taylor, FSA, based on his work researching and cataloguing the archive of the Lushington family of Ockham and Cobham (Vernon Lushington was a close friend of William Morris, FSA, and the archive contains interesting material relating to Morris and his family). Details available on the attached PDF.
 

Vacancies

 
Chief Executive, Collections Trust
Closing date: 26 May
The Collections Trust is looking for a dynamic and entrepreneurial Chief Executive to lead the organisation into a new phase of development with a new vision and operational model. The CEO needs to have good experience of leadership, a track record in managing people and resources, and a proven ability to innovate and advocate, along with an understanding of museums, libraries or archives. Salary is Â£50-60,000 depending on qualifications and experience. For further information and application details visit the website.

Treasurer, Council of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society
This registered Charity is recruiting a Treasurer; the voluntary role may suit someone who is interested in archaeology, local history or heritage (but not essential) and can spare some time to provide financial support to the charity. Email Meriel Jeater for details.

Webmaster, The Church Monuments Society
The CMS would like to hear from any member who would be interested in taking over as Webmaster for the Society. Please contact Jean Wilson.
 

Feedback


In the previous issue of Salon, we announced a new publication, Perspectives on the Honours Systems: Proceedings of the Symposiums Swedish and Russian Orders 1700–2000 & The Honour of Diplomacy, by Fellow Antti Matikkala. Sadly, we misspelled her name. Our apologies, Antti!
 

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

Please email Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). When proposing a lecture, it is helpful to provide a working title, a few sentences about the topic and its significance, and how you will make it relevant and accessible to the entirety of the diverse Fellowship. We welcome papers based on new research on themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.

Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please email Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.

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