Skip to main content

The Arts Council

Client - The Arts Council and the Association of British Transport and Engineering Museums (ABTEM).

Location - United Kingdom.


The extant (published 1992) Guidelines for the Care of Larger and Working Historic Objects needed major attention and the decision was taken to develop and publish a completely new document, to include railways, motor vehicles, ships and boats, aircraft and other large complex objects. This required the company to bring into the team appropriate additional expertise to advise on the non-core elements of the guidance document. The guidelines have been produced to offer practical conservation advice to owners of historic objects be it private individuals or heritage institutions (museum, societies, or heritage sites) irrespective of the size of their collection.

These guidelines aim to provide a structured process for the conservation of historic objects, starting from acquisition, initial measures to stabilise an object, the research needed to understand the significance of the object. A decision-making process, known as the conservation gateway, identifies potential conservation routes that include, but are not limited to, the conservation of an object in static or working order.

This publication available here, demonstrates that the variety of alternative conservation options available to an owner should not be seen as conflicting with each other but should be viewed as having broadly equal legitimacy, provided that the merits and disadvantages of each approach have been carefully considered through the conservation gateway.