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Matthew Hancock

Matthew Hancock is a Conservator at the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson

Matthew started his career at an art dealer in Shropshire. He went on to work as a photographer and picture editor for over 20 years, before returning to university to study conservation.

This interest in conservation was fueled by two things: one was the archives, which as a picture editor Matthew had responsibility for, and the second was his interest in racing classic yachts. These experiences led to Matthew developing an interest in the conservation of working objects, such as guns, cameras, boats and clocks.

Matthew graduated from London Metropolitan University in 2011 with a BA (Hons) in Conservation and Restoration. After graduating, Matthew was appointed as Cataloguer in the Clock Department at Bonhams. In 2012, Matthew started a part time distance learning Masters degree at Northumberland University in Preventative Conservation. His dissertation was entitled “Could Historic Photographic Techniques allow Digital to overcome issues with cold storage.” Matthew completed his Masters in the autumn of 2014.

Since 2012, Matthew has worked as a conservator at the Royal Armouries; in this role he is responsible for the remedial, interventive conservation and restoration of the national collection of artillery. The role also includes preventive conservation and collection care, supervising and developing volunteers, as well as the conservation of a collection of photographic negatives. Research is another aspect of the job: Matthew is currently working on a major research project, which involves investigating the corrosive effects of coatings ingredients used on artillery when combined with moisture. Working in this challenging and varied role Matthew has developed his conservation skills.

Matthew is currently working towards professional accreditation with ICON. This accreditation project includes researching the conservation of the recently acquired Composite Minion Drake Gun and a personal project researching the history and conservation of Russian cameras.

Recent publications:
Fort Nelson Staff and Volunteers Experience Crime Scene Technology Training. South East Museums, 2015. http://southeastmuseums.org/case-study-Fort-Nelson-XRF#.Vou7195FB9A
Second best could save your collection. Archives and Records Association conference Newcastle, 2014

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