This month we have launched a new blog and website. This will bring you the latest news on a five-year research project on the British Board of Longitude, which oversaw the successful introduction of effective methods for position-finding at sea (among other things, as we will show).
The project is a collaboration between the National Maritime Museum and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and is supported by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
We’ll be updating the blog regularly, so keep checking for the latest progress and news of events and activities.
Nelson’s Trafalgar coat has now entered that part of the process of conservation where its condition is thoroughly checked, comparing its current state with all previous observations so as to identify any deterioration.
This time will be different from previous examinations in that we’ll be bringing some serious technology to the proceedings. We are going to carry out rather extensive analysis on the materials of the coat so that we know precisely what we’re dealing with, such as the wool and its dye, the silk, the metal threads on the epaulets and medals, the buttons etc.
This will help us to determine what specific protection might be necessary, add to the historical details and give us a clear picture of the condition of the materials at a macroscopic level. We’ll also be carrying out fading tests to see how much fading to the outside of the coat has occurred over the many decades of display.
Here are some recent photographs of the coat with the fragile silk lining starting to be removed.
Lining of Nelson’s Trafalgar uniform (UNI0024)
Lining coming away from the coat
Section of lining removed from the coat
Here is our second instalment tracking the conservation of Nelson’s Trafalgar uniform. This episode gives an insight into what treatments the uniform needs.
Conserving Nelson: Lining up the work from National Maritime Museum on Vimeo.