Barkcloth at the European Researchers’ Night

The barkcloth project team have had many visitors over the last 11 months. These have included historians, scientists, conservators, curators and some people who were just interested in the project and what the team at Glasgow are researching.

However, to bring the project and its aims to a wider audience, we have also taken the project ‘on tour’. Our first, of hopefully many ventures, was to take part in the European Researchers’ Night, as part of the University of Glasgow’s Explorathon activities, at the Hunterian Museum on the 30th September. The event actually took place from 12noon until 4pm!

Colour photograph of Dr Andy Mills, Historical Research Associate, explaining the provenance of Pacific barkcloth samples to a visitor to the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, during European Researchers’ Night, 2016 (copyright University of Glasgow)
Andy Mills explaining the provenance of Pacific barkcloth samples to a visitor

All the Glasgow team were there manning our research stall, which was based on the second floor of the Hunterian Museum. On the stall we had examples of contemporary barkcloth, a small barkcloth piece from the Hunterian’s own collection, a variety of raw materials used in barkcloth making and a small sample of resin embedded barkcloth that visitors could view using a microscope.

Colour photograph of Scientific Research Associate, Dr Margaret Smith, and Research Conservator, Misa Tamura, on the project stand for European Researchers’ Night at the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, 2016. (copyright University of Glasgow)
Margaret Smith and Misa Tamura on the project stand

Many of the numerous visitors who stopped to view the items and discuss the research left comments in our visitors’ book. They ranged from visitors who had never encountered barkcloth to those who had previous interest in this art form. Here are a few of these comments:

‘I knew nothing about barkcloth at all! Thanks for an interesting and informative experience’.

‘Absolutely fascinating project. So nice to see a strongly interdisciplinary team investigating something like from so many different angles. Clearly explained. Look forward to hearing more in the future’.

‘It was exceptionally fascinating and I’m glad the research is finally being done on the Pacific bark!’

Check out Misa’s report for more details on our stand at the European Researchers’ Night.

Colour photograph of Research Conservator, Misa Tamura, discussing barkcloth conservation with a group of students during European Researchers’ Night in the Hunterian Museum in 2016 (copyright University of Glasgow)
Misa Tamura discusses barkcloth conservation with a group of students

We are planning to bring our research to a number of venues in 2017 and beyond – more details on these to follow.