Grant to Petersfield Museum

Don Eades with the photographic negative collection (credit: David Jeffery)as a.1

This grant for a major preservation project – Lasting Impression – is for a collection held by Petersfield Museum and is the largest HAT has ever funded.

This project is to preserve the Don Eades archive of 107,000 photographic negatives in 100% cotton 4-flap envelopes and then to store these envelopes in archival boxes at the Petersfield Museum [4.5.19] for enjoyment by future generations

It is proposed this will be a curator-managed project with much of the work, including self-assembly of the envelopes and transfer of the negatives, being carried out by suitably trained volunteers.

The collection has already been catalogued so that work is not required as this part of the project.

The conservation/preservation part of the project is being timed to run alongside a ‘physical’ exhibition of Don Eades work in one of the new galleries. The exhibition will run from October 2021 until March 2022 and will be the second exhibition held in the new Flora Twort Gallery.

Museum visitors to the exhibition will, potentially even in the same space, be offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse of museum conservation action and the opportunity to speak with the conservators.

Don Eades was a local freelance photographer who from the early 1960s until he retired in 1987 provided photographs to the Petersfield Post (the local Petersfield newspaper) on a weekly basis to accompany news items.

This twenty-five-year period marked an important time in the growth of the town – from the closure of the cattle market and the ‘destruction’ of a large portion of the High Street in the 1960s through to the building of the Petersfield bypass which opened in the 1990s. But it was not only the large events he covered, indeed much of his archive was a recording of sporting events, the arts and local people.

This huge and unique collection of negatives was given to Petersfield Museum by the photographer himself in 2014.

HAT is awarding £10,000 but Petersfield is looking to raise the remaining funding (c. £11,500) by applying for grants and fundraising – the project is due to start August 2021 and be completed by February 2022.

Petersfield Museum was established in 1997 when the members of Petersfield Area Historical Society (PAHS) successfully negotiated a 25-year lease on the Town’s now-defunct Magistrate’s Court. The objective was to create a museum for the people of the town and also safely store and exhibit the many artefacts and photographs collected by members of PAHS over many years, and the museum opened to visitors two years later.

The Museum has gone from strength to strength and will open its ‘new’ one site museum in  March 2021 (COVID-19 willing) this will enable a display of a wider range of collections in a greater number of galleries with the objective of exciting visitors and encouraging them to explore the local landscapes that have inspired so many other people over the centuries.

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