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Seven weeks into our internships and since we’re no longer getting ourselves lost in what once seemed like an unending maze of corridors, it seems only right that we finally introduce ourselves and give you an update of some of what’s been going on in the mansion. We are Rhiannon, Michael and Alex and we’ll be working at Attingham for six months as Conservation and Engagement Interns.

Dinner by Candlelight!

Us taking a break on our Winter Tour sacrificial chairs in the Dining Room

We seem to have done so much already from working in the stores, to helping out with Halloween, to scaling 10ft high scaffolding with museum vacs strapped to our waists in the name of preventative conservation. At the moment though we’ve had to put the deep winter clean on hold whilst we prepare the mansion for Christmas – Father Christmas’ grotto doesn’t decorate itself you know!

Christmas Preparation

Making garlands in the Entrance Hall

Alongside all of this we’ve also got our own project, namely the Photo Archive Project, which we’ll be working on throughout our time here and which will be the focus of our blog posts from now on. The Photo Archive Project is a major reorganisation, re-housing and digitizing effort which has involved a number of volunteers and staff over the past few years (Here are some links to previous blog post by Andy on the subject – Researching Dates, Conservation Issues, Progress Update). It has now fallen to us to continue these efforts whilst our valiant volunteer colleagues are embroiled in cataloguing the albums, and various First World War projects being conducted as part of the run-up to the anniversary in 2014.

The Photo Archives

Boxes of photos in the store waiting to be re-housed.

The aim is that by the end of our internships, all the photographs of the 8th Lord and Lady Berwick (our primary subjects) will be securely re-housed, digitised and catalogued onto our inventory (Collections Management System). We hope in the near future to be able to share with you some of the interesting and amusing things we have come across in the collection, but for now we will just leave you with this very early Daguerrotype of a mystery gentleman.

1841 Daguerrotype 'Unknown Man'      Portrait of the 4th Lord Berwick

Could this be the 4th Lord Berwick? What do you think? More on this coming soon…