Weighed down with laptops, ladders, cameras, and tape measures, six curatorial inventory teams have set off across Scotland to catalog and photograph the more than 100,000 objects cared for by the National Trust for Scotland.
The teams fully expect to uncover hidden treasures and reveal intimate stories told by unique witnesses to history: the objects themselves.
An unknown Napoleonic coin collection at Brodick Castle
An unusual light fixture at Culzean Castle that played a role in the defeat of the Germans in World War I
Left: Sparrow finger mat, The Hill House; Right: Gin pig, Brodie Castle
Project Reveal is a multi-site digitization project of unprecedented scale that will result in an updated and accurate database record of every item in the Trust’s care. This project is using the best of current technology to bring our collections information management systems, and with it, our knowledge, fully up to date. We know there are some inconsistencies and gaps in our data and that in some cases there is only one database record for a set of objects, such as a dinner service. By creating one record per item we will create an accurate picture of the full extent of our collections and we will be in a better place to apply consistent standards of care and interpretation to them.
Jennifer Melville, Head of Curatorial and Conservation Services at NTS said:
The Reveal project is one of the most exciting that NTS has ever instigated – this nationwide cataloguing and image gathering will allow us to realise the full potential of our collections – making them accessible internationally through eventual online access and also allowing us to contextualise and interpret the collections better at each property. By identifying key objects, our ‘Treasures of the Trust’, we shall also be able to identify the unique character of each property through the finest collections items. We will be able to create thematic exhibitions that will allow us to research and highlight different aspects of our rich and immensely varied holdings.
Project Reveal photographer at work in the dining room of The Hill House
Project Reveal in Action
Throughout the project we will celebrate the objects that are re-discovered, and whose significance is revealed for the first time. Visitors will be able to see this for themselves as the curatorial teams work in full view of the public until December 2018. Keep an eye on the Trust’s website to see where the various teams will be working at particular times of the year. The discoveries and their stories can be followed on Project Reveal blog posts, @NTSCollections twitter account, and by searching #ProjectReveal.
How You Can Help
With your support, we can help the Trust manage its collections more effectively. Most important, we can help the Trust discover, better understand, and share its treasures with the world.
Please help us to secure this major investment in preserving Scotland’s heritage with a tax-deductible donation in support of Project Reveal.
A gift of $125 could catalog a set of hand-inked finger bowl mats illustrated by Walter Blackie’s daughter, until now hidden in a linen closet at The Hill House.