Peoples History Museum
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Peoples History Museum

For this project we were commissioned to light a series of complex spaces to ensure the best lighting of the collection within a restricted budget. The main problem was to allow the public to adapt from the brightly daylit foyer to the low conservation lighting levels in the gallery. We achieved this by a careful balance of the lighting in each area and the use of an adaptation and interpretation space. This has ensured that the public are able to see the full beauty of the textiles and paper objects displayed.

Conservation of textiles

One of the most significant parts of the collection is the large number of Union and protest banners. Many of these are of a large size, a great age and made from poor materials. We therefore designed the lighting to provide an even spread of light over the large wall area that was within strict conservation limits.

Control of energy & fading

Our design for the central control of the lighting allowed the simple operation of the lighting by the staff. We designed the lighting systems to have a series of low-energy house lights. These can be brought on instead of the display lighting at the touch of a button. The use of the low-energy lighting out-of-hours results in not only reduced light impact on the delicate fabrics but reduced running costs in terms of electricity and lamp replacement.

Mini-cases

This shows the graphics panels designed by the Exhibition Designer Nigel Simpkins. Within each of these interpretation panels is a small case containing objects relevant to the subject of the board. As many of these objects were organic materials with strict conservation limits we lit them by just one or two 3 Watt tungsten-halogen capsule bulbs, depending on the case size. In order to make the lamps unobtrusive, we designed reflector holders which could be hidden within the case walls.

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