Pattern Book Conservation

Kathleen Sprague Conservation Room

In November 2022 we were ecstatic to open a Conservation Room dedicated to Kathleen Sprague MBE, who was a huge supporter of the Mill for over 30 years. The previously unused space has been transformed into the Conservation Room thanks to funding from South West Museum Development and match-funding from Coldharbour Mill Trust

The Conservation Room is to play a massive part in helping Coldharbour Mill Trust restore and exhibit our hugely significant Pattern Books. It will also allow the Trust to train more volunteers in Conservation & Curation. 

This new facility will enable volunteers to be trained in conservation work .This is the first time the Museum has had a dedicated space for a programme of works on conserving our collections.


Restoration of hugely significant Pattern Books

The Restoration and Conservation of our Pattern Books is now underway and will continue throughout 2023 thanks to Idlewild Trust, The Arts Society and AIM (Association of Independent Museums). With over 100 of the Pattern Books to survey, our Curatorial volunteers are working hard behind the scenes ensuring the books are carefully looked after to secure the future of them at the Mill for visitors to enjoy. You can keep up to date with the progress below! 


With thanks to..

AIM Logo

“We support programmes that address the lack of opportunities for professional musicians, dancers, actors, writers, artists and those involved creatively in the arts at an early stage in their career. 

We also support the conservation of important works of art and historic objects being lost through the lack of funds to look after these works.”

More can be found on their website HERE

“The Arts Society is a leading arts education charity with a global network of local Societies which bring people together through a shared curiosity for the arts.

Our events provide welcoming places to hear expert lecturers share their specialist knowledge about the arts.

We preserve and contribute to our artistic heritage through volunteering and grants.

Our strength is our people, joined together by a passion for the arts which can nourish and empower us all. Our work creates a better, healthier and more connected society.”

More can be found on their website HERE

AIM was established in 1977 to address the needs of the growing independent museum sector, providing a network of mutual help and support that would share good practice and create a singular voice for hundreds of organisations.

Today AIM continues that work, supporting and championing independent museums, galleries and heritage sites across the UK.”

More can be found on their website HERE

“South West Museum Development exists to support museums and heritage organisations to develop and improve across all areas of their operation. We provide trusted, local and relevant development services to support museum and heritage organisations to improve, innovate, collaborate and celebrate. We understand the specific context and priorities of museums at both a regional and local level.”

More can be found on their website HERE