Conservator Kelly Bourassa is volunteering his time and skills to help restore objects of historical significance at the Kings County Museum in Kentville. He’s started a blog he hopes will be of assistance to those interested in conserving artifacts and other community museums.
By Kirk Starratt
A local conservator is using technology to connect with the historical community and share his knowledge and useful tips.
Kelly Bourassa of Kentville is volunteering his services to the Kings County Museum and blogging about it.
“I wanted to communicate to the general public the conservation work I was taking on at the museum,” he said about his decision to start the blog, Kelly’s Conservation Corner, www.kellysconservationcorner.blogspot.ca.
Bourassa decided to volunteer his services to the museum after graduating a year ago with a diploma in Conservation of Historical Objects from the University of Lincoln in England.
His work started with 15 archeological objects donated to the museum by the family of an Acadia University professor. He has now moved on to objects recovered from the vicinity of the Kentville railway roundhouse during environmental remediation.
The blog includes descriptions of what Bourassa is working on and he demonstrates some of his techniques in photos. He also gives helpful tips.
“I certainly enjoy doing it,” Bourassa said.
He said you often learn a lot about items as you clean them and this is quite exciting for a conservator. Bourassa said volunteering with the museum helps keep his skills honed and the blog helps illustrate the historical significance of the artifacts he helps conserve.
“It sort of brings these objects alive for people,” he said.
Bourassa points out working on objects always carries a risk and it’s better to have someone trained do the work. However, funding is often very tight at community museums. He believes the blog helps demonstrate some types of conservation work you can carry out with minimal cost. He hopes the blog will be of assistance to those museums that can’t afford to hire a trained conservator.
Kings County Museum curator Bria Stokesbury said the blog is a very good way to share Bourassa’s work with other museums, as resources are stretched and limited.
“We’re the only community museum in the province I’m aware of to have a conservator volunteer to work on their collection,” she said.