Volunteers do hands-on work with Cogswell’s Grant collections

Sep 21, 2018

Historic New England is piloting the Volunteer Collection Care Corps at Cogswell’s Grant in Essex, Massachusetts, this fall.

Led by Historic New England staff members, Site Manager Kristen Weiss and Collection Manager Nicole Chalfant, volunteers were selected and trained in preventive care of collections, housekeeping in historic house museums, and object handling. The group of seven volunteers has met twice to do in-depth projects at Cogswell’s Grant.

On September 18, Objects Conservator Michaela Neiro led the group, working on cast iron and brass objects from the dining room and sitting room fireplaces. Volunteers dusted and vacuumed the objects before being wiping them with damp cloths and odorless mineral spirits. The final step was the application of a clear or black-tinted wax to protect the surface from moisture and dust.

The result was twenty objects that look great and are better preserved for long-term display in the house. Thank you, Volunteer Collection Care Corps!

See a current list of volunteer opportunities with  Historic New England.