The Textile Conservation Centre

Mike Halliwell

To contact Mike Halliwell please click here.

Since graduating from the Institute of Archaeology in London (1992) with a BSc in Archaeological Conservation and Materials Science, I have had various contracts as an Objects Conservator. I spent an exciting 9 months in Beirut working for UNESCO on the re-opening of the State museum. This involved a lot of practical conservation, detailed documentation and specialist photography. This type of work became a common combination for projects in Sharjah, Libya, Turkmenistan and various other museums and archaeological excavations in Britain. Most notable digs were the Dover Bronze Age Boat Project and the major Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries at Mill Hill, Deal and at Buckland, Dover in Kent.

Following a short term contract working as a Teaching Assistant in Photography for UCL, I joined the Textile Conservation Centre in 1999 after it had moved from its former home in Hampton Court Palace. Since then, I have introduced digital photography to the TCC and was involved in a major AHRC funded project researching the use of Digital photography on semi-translucent/transparent artefacts. I am currently researching the use of both infra-red and ultraviolet dedicated LED sources for the imaging of assorted material types including textiles to record indistinct or invisible details.

After its closure in 2009, I left the TCC and set up a ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for clients with a need for a complete range of digital imaging services. Currently this service offers:-

  • Archival Digitising of Books, Manuscripts, Maps and other flat objects
  • Scanning of all Film types, including 35mm Slides, Medium Format B/W & Colour, Large Format Glass Negs and X-Rays, up to A3 in size
  • Digital Photography ranging in scale from Archaeological Small-Finds up to full-scale Architectural Surveys
  • Alternative Light-Source Imagery, specifically Ultra Violet and Infra Red, for the detection of additions/alterations to objects as-well as the recording of normally ‘invisible’ details such as faded inks
  • Consultancy on the setting up of Imaging Facilities including equipment, Data-base and IT requirements
  • Teaching of Digital Photography to practising Conservators either as a standalone Short Course or as part of a bigger CPD program via Jim Black at IAP (International Academic Projects). Clients include the British Library, the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the National Museum of Ireland (ICHAWI)

I specialise in the personal approach and carry out all the work myself, there are no sub-contactors and much of the work can be carried out on the client’s premises, if required, so as to limit the ever present danger of loss or damage in transit of unique images, records or artefacts.

All of this work is carried out with High-end Nikon and Epson imaging equipment.

As well as my main job as a photographer, I am still a practising objects conservator, museum model-maker and model engineer.