With the Project Reveal teams now settled at their various regional bases, we thought this would be a good time to introduce them. Please feel free to pop over and say hello if you see them beavering away at any of the Trust properties. As mentioned previously, there are six teams spread across the nation, supervised by four regional team managers.
The North region is managed by Indigo Carnie, who has responsibility for both the North West and North East teams. Indi has an MA in Decorative Arts and Historic Interiors and worked in private galleries and auction houses before joining NTS last year for the collections documentation project on Canna. She is particularly excited at the prospect of working in the Picture Room at Brodie, while still finding time for her regular lindy hop (Indi-hop?!) sessions.
Project Reveal Team North West
The Lead Inventory Officer for the North West is Deirdre Mitchell, who worked on the earlier inventory project at Brodick Castle. Deirdre is looking forward to working at Culloden, given her fascination with all things Jacobite. The prospect of working in the Highlands in winter doesn’t faze her as a previous job was at a museum on a British Antarctic Survey base, where she spent her free time helping scientists weigh penguins. As Inventory Officer, Oliver Taylor plans to put his previous experience of working at Brodie Castle to good use. He is most looking forward to working through Brodie’s store rooms, an area of the castle that he has not had an opportunity to properly investigate before. And completing the North West team is Inventory Photographer Robyn Braham. Robyn has worked as a photographer since 2009 and is most looking forward to spending time in the beautiful town of Cromarty, while working at Hugh Miller’s Birthplace Cottage & Museum.
Project Reveal Team North East
In the North East, Inventory Officer Ross MacLennan is looking forward to working on the project, whilst also continuing in his part-time role of rock’n’roll guitarist and singer. Inventory Photographer Bill Bleakley comes from an engineering design background and is excited about creating a different type of resource that will be useful for many generations to come. He would also love to capture an image of the Northern Lights, if he can stay awake long enough to see them appear! Inventory Officer Marianne Fossaluzza has plenty of experience of working in museums. She is most looking forward to handling weapons and armour … and engaging colleagues in a duel. En garde! [Disclaimer: Property managers, don’t panic – she doesn’t really intend to do this.]
The Team Manager of both teams in the East region, Rohan Almond, has a background in curatorship and collections management. He is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to work on Bloody Tam’s personal artefacts at the House of the Binns, including a two-handed straight sword and a pair of Russian leather boots. A keen surfer, Rohan can be found in all weathers duckdiving and performing cutbacks around the Scottish coastline.
Project Reveal Team East
Inventory Officer Alex Hill has spent the last few years writing a PhD on lost books printed in the 16th and 17th centuries; perhaps not surprisingly, she is most looking forward to cataloguing the objects at Robert Smail’s Printing Works. Michelle Atherton is also working as an Inventory Officer. Michelle joins us from Los Angeles and has worked in collections care and digitisation at several museums in the USA. Her research interests are in the Arts & Crafts Movement and the Celtic Revival. Inventory Officer Rachael Bowen has previously worked for the Trust at Haddo House and Leith Hall. Rachael plays the bassoon and piano and has recently taught herself to play the clarinet and oboe. The Lead Inventory Officer, Ben Reiss, has worked in several museums over the last five years in a variety of curatorial and collections care roles – he is an avid cricketer and hockey player in his spare time. Inventory Photographer Christophe Brogliolo has worked on archaeological excavations in southern Egypt, including at Karnak Temple. A man who enjoys a challenge, Christophe is most looking forward to working on jewellery, silver and glass objects as these are likely to be the trickiest to shoot. The other Inventory Photographer in the East is Kevin MacLean. Most recently Kevin worked with the City of Edinburgh Council where he was responsible for photographing everything from Steiff teddy bears to celebrities and Jacobean glass. Kevin also loves dancing the Argentine tango.
Sarah Heaton, Team Manager for the West region, gained her MLitt in Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of St Andrews and has worked as a curator managing a variety of collections. Away from museums, Sarah is an avid baker as well as enjoying sewing and badminton. The Inventory Photographer for the West, Brian McDonough, has many years of experience, most recently as a freelance photographer in the advertising and commercial sectors. In particular, Brian is looking forward to working at Weaver’s Cottage. In his spare time he likes to hybridise rare and exotic succulent plants, or in his words ‘tickling flowers!’
Project Reveal Team West
Inventory Officer Silvia Scopa, whose background is in archaeology, enjoys the opportunity to ‘dig’ about in drawers and cupboards at each property. Since gaining her Masters in Museum Studies, Silvia has become passionate about social history and the stories linked to everyday objects. Demi Boyd, Inventory Officer, worked at both the Tenement House and Pollok House after gaining her Museum Studies degree. In her spare time Demi looks after her two Jack Russell cross Yorkshire terriers, or Jorkies.
The South West
John Mackenzie is Team Manager for this region. John is a professional archivist and has worked in various archival roles in England, Scotland and Ireland. In his spare time he has written several local history books and has recently had several magazine articles published.
Project Reveal Team South West
Lead Inventory Officer Rachel Sayers joins us from Northern Ireland. Her most recent position was with HMS Caroline in Belfast, where she learnt how to manoeuvre 14-inch guns. She has a passion for art history and experience of working with museum collections. She is also perhaps our most social media-savvy team member, being an experienced travel and history blogger. As a textile historian, the ephemera associated with dressmaking particularly interests Rachel. Alistair Fenn, Inventory Photographer, has worked in some challenging environments in the past – from the top of the Forth Road Bridge to the inside of an abattoir. He is hoping the South West properties won’t throw up anything quite as extreme! Alice Maraner is one of our South West Inventory Officers. Originally from Italy, she came to Scotland to complete her MLitt in Celtic & Viking Archaeology. She is looking forward to answering any Viking queries as well as handling the weapon collection at Culzean Castle – although she studied swords and their different uses while at university, she never managed to handle a real one! Inventory Officer Billy Young is the South West expert, having previously worked at Culzean as duty manager for the Eisenhower Hotel. Already Billy’s knowledge of the castle and its collections has proved invaluable. Ayrshire-born and bred, he also has an excellent knowledge of the history of this region and is looking forward to working at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, given his love of the Bard.
Project Reveal is an NTS-wide collections digitisation project. It will result in an updated database with high quality images and unique object numbers for every item in the NTS material culture collections. Six regionally based project teams, supported by experienced project managers, will work across all of our properties with collections to complete the inventory in 18 months from July 2017 until December 2018.