Heritage Projects

Heritage Projects

Heritage Volunteers

Co-ordinators:  Vivienne Jarvis with Hilary Olleson

We have a very lively and enthusiastic Heritage Volunteers group , with over 40 volunteers involved with various projects which help to preserve our arts heritage.  

Many of the current projects are fully staffed, and we are not recruiting for these, but the Reese Winstone Photographic Archive Project is new and one where volunteers will work from home.

Reese Winstone Photographic Archive Project

A new project

Reese Winstone collected photos of Bristol from 1840 to 1962, and took many photos himself.

Volunteers working at home will transfer information given in the Accession Books recording details of each photo to an Excel spreadsheet - a template will be provided and full instructions given.




Full details of the project and details of how to volunteer or to get further information are provided at Reese Winstone Photographic Archive Project

National Archives at Kew

A current project

A country-wide 'working from home' digitising project with the National Archive at Kew.  

TAS is working on the transcribing and noting of all details in copyright materials held in the Archive, involving paintings, drawings, advertising and packaging documents and imagery.  

These are mid nineteenth and early twentieth papers and are fascinating to work on, and are a trip down memory lane.


Book Conservation - Bromley House Library, Thrumpton Hall and Trent Bridge Cricket Club

A current project

The volunteers are working their way through the libraries' collections, carrying out dusting and cleaning, as well as repairing when necessary.

At Bromley House Library, this work is rather like 'painting the Forth Bridge' - when we get to the end, it will be time to start again.

At Trent Bridge, the volunteers have completed work in the main library, and have now moved on to the Mezzanine level.

At Thrumpton Hall, the volunteers are working through the extensive library, which is regularly used by owner and author, Miranda Seymour.

Book Conservation -  Bromley House Library, Thrumpton Hall and Trent Bridge Cricket ClubBook Conservation -  Bromley House Library, Thrumpton Hall and Trent Bridge Cricket Club

Every year we have training days with our extremely well-qualified and knowledgeable trainer, Caroline Bendix. 

In 2019 Caroline was awarded The Plowden Medal from The Royal Warrant Holders’ Association. This is an esteemed prize in the conservation and heritage world and was awarded in recognition of her career in conserving libraries.

Caroline introduces our new volunteers to the basics of the book conservation and reminds those of us who have been doing it for some time of the finer details that we may overlook.

Textiles Project for Nottingham Museums and Galleries

A current project

A group of volunteers have made and mended various children’s dressing up garments, including the Cassandra dresses at Wollaton Hall and curtains have also been made for The Gardeners Cottage.

The volunteers have also made garments for Christmas exhibitions at Newstead Abbey and other local exhibitions.

Costumes are now being made for mannequins to be placed in the Wollaton Hall Tudor kitchens.  The Arts Society recently provided a £250 grant to support this project.


Textiles Project for Nottingham Museums and Galleries

Bromley House Archive

A pending project

The library has an extensive archive going back to its earliest days, but is in need of conservation and cataloguing.

Many of the conservation issues and techniques required in book conservation are also applied here.

We have worked on the archive in the past, but work had to be paused.  It is hoped that it will resume in the coming months.

Bromley House Archive

We are also expecting to hear details of two new 'working from home' projects starting shortly; more information in due course.

Royal Philatelic Society of London Project

A completed project

The Royal Philatelic Society sought help to make available online the archived material that it holds for research purposes. The RPSL houses a vast archive, included in which are the records of the Perkins Bacon Company (PB) which was established in 1828 as a Security printer.  PB printed a large range of secure paper items such as bank notes and stamps, including the famous Penny Black.

This project dealt with the 17 PB Engraving Books, each containing typically 150 - 200 pages. They were scanned so that images of each page were available.  RPSL needed volunteers to read through scanned pages, pick out key words and phrases, and list them. Once collated, these lists enabled the documents to be easily searched online for research purposes.

There was a tremendous response to the appeal for volunteers, and the project was finished within one year.

The end result will be of use to many audiences, including family tree researchers and numismatists as well as philatelists.

Our endeavours will be made available on the web for anyone to view and should be of use to many audiences, including family tree researchers and numismatists, as well as philatelists.



Royal Philatelic Society of London Project

A sample of our endeavours can be viewed at:


Mausolea and Monuments Trust

A Completed Project

The Trust was established in 1997 with the aim of listing all the memorials and mausolea in Britain.

They have published a Gazetteer of all the mausolea that they can find in the country, and asked us to check on the condition and any details of ornamentation and text etc to ensure that the Gazetteer remains correct in all detail.


St Mary’s in the Lacemarket

A completed project

A group of  volunteers conserved and adapted vestments at St Mary’s in the Lacemarket.  Before starting any project, the volunteers have to have appropriate training and in this case it was provided by Mary Sleigh, a professional textile artist who has an interest in conserving and making church vestments.

One of the projects has been the restoration of a red chasuble (outer liturgical gown or vestment) made of silk and wool which was very worn in places. The volunteers added an almost invisible conservation net to the upper section and added a bound opening to allow a microphone to be clipped to the front. This will add a few years of working life to the garment.

Another project involved improving a Super Frontal (a cloth which is placed over the top of an altar and hangs down a few inches over the frontal).

We adapted the altar Super Frontal by adding 'Alleluias" to three of the five panels using pale brocade, outlined in gold thread, and an arabesque outlined in the same gold thread on the remaining two.  It was used for the first time at a Christmas Eve service

St Mary’s in the LacemarketSt Mary’s in the Lacemarket

The Altar Super Frontal


Childrens' Trail of St Mary and All Saints Church, Willoughby on the Wolds

A completed project

With links to the Civil War St Mary’s and All Saints Church in Willoughby on the Wolds is The Arts Society Nottingham’s first Children’s Trail. The trail has historical artefacts for children to discover including a brass plaque in memory of Colonel Michael Stanhope (1624-1648) who was “slain in Willoughby Field” (one of the last battles of the Civil War).

The Arts Society was delighted that children from Willoughby Primary School, along with their teachers, Arts Society members, a representative of the School’s Governors, the Rector and Church Wardens took part in the launch of the trail.

It was wonderful to hear the children talk about the carved animals on the monuments in the north chapel and ponder over the reason for the money box having three locks. Those with time to spare designed a Hassock or composed a poem. At the end of the afternoon the children and adults enjoyed drinks and ice creams donated by The Arts Society Nottingham and kindly distributed by Friends of Willoughby School.

The trail results from the hard work and determination of Sue Punt supported by other TASN members Sue Porter, Pru Tatham and Patrick Stevens. Valuable help also came from Gill Murphy, the East Midlands Area Trails Coordinator. 

If you have friends and families visiting this summer why not explore the trail? There are copies of the questionnaire along with trail answers, explanatory notes and QR code displayed inside the church.

This September we have received a letter of thanks from the Friends of Willoughby School and drawings by two of the pupils. 

More information about Trails of Discovery is contained in the pdf at the bottom of our Home page Click here  


For further information, contact Gill Murphy glmurphy@btinternet.com

Childrens' Trail of St Mary and All Saints Church, Willoughby on the WoldsChildrens' Trail of St Mary and All Saints Church, Willoughby on the WoldsChildrens' Trail of St Mary and All Saints Church, Willoughby on the Wolds

Trails of Discovery is working with The National Churches Trust to have the trails linked to their Explorechurches.org website.

For further information contact Gill Murphy: glmurphy@btinternet.com

Church Inventory Project

A new type of project

This has been tried out in London with volunteers working in small groups, and seems to work very well.

Each C of E church has to keep a detailed list of the contents of the church, an Inventory, and it is up to the Incumbent or Church Warden to keep this up to date as it is inspected regularly.

What we would offer is an updating of this list, re-photographing and checking on the written descriptions of all the artefacts in the church, using the method in The Arts Loss Register. This is an internationally recognised way of photographing and giving detailed descriptions of items in a collection, and although we are starting in churches, we hope eventually to extend this to small galleries and museums or any organisation that would like an efficient and recognised way of cataloguing a collection, and in a way that works in the event of damage or loss.

As each church will already have an inventory, the project will be a question of checking and updating any changes, taking new photographs and adding to the written description if appropriate. New, clear photographs are very useful in the event of theft.

The Art Loss Register provides card with a series of measured squares in colour and shades of grey. This is placed beside any item to be photographed and provides an accurate way of determining size and colour for future identification.

On the other side are instructions about how to set about identifying and measuring the items. This will all be done on an iPad or other similar device, and once completed will be uploaded into the church’s system.




If anyone feels they would like to volunteer for this project and knows of a church, which might be interested in participating, then please contact Vivienne Jarvis for further details, vivienne@jarvisfamily.me.uk

Book Trouser Project

A completed project

This is a  'working from home' project undertaken by The Arts Society Heritage Volunteers for the Parliamentary Archives (PA) which has now been completed. The work was done in preparation for their relocation programme.

What are book trousers?  All the unboxed volumes in the Victoria Tower require barcoding to identify them ahead of the move as part of the Archive Relocation Programme. Unfortunately, many are not able to be barcoded directly due to age, fragility, historic bindings etc.  A solution has been found in Book Trousers.  These are created out of high quality, conservation quality paper which is cut into a specific shape.  The Book Trousers are wrapped around all volumes to enable barcoding and clear referncing and therefore accounting of these volumes during the move and after. See https://www.icon.org.uk/resource/book-trouser-project.html

Grateful thanks for our work on the project were given by the Curator at the Palace of Westminster.

Book Trouser Project