Haworth's Bronte Parsonage Museum closing for major works

Keighley News: Bronte Parsonage library and information officer, Sarah Laycock, right, puts away a sewing box that belonged to the literary sisters, watched by volunteer steward, Amy Rowbottom, left, and museum assistant, Linda Pierson Bronte Parsonage library and information officer, Sarah Laycock, right, puts away a sewing box that belonged to the literary sisters, watched by volunteer steward, Amy Rowbottom, left, and museum assistant, Linda Pierson

Bronte Parsonage Museum is closed to the public throughout January – but it is the busiest time of the year for staff.

Workers have only a few weeks to check every item in the Haworth museum and prepare new displays.

They are not only creating a major temporary exhibition, but will also refresh exhibits in the permanent galleries.

The museum’s closed season, at the beginning of January each year, will last longer than usual this time, until at least February 20.

Collections manager, Ann Dinsdale, said the extra time was required due to the amount of work needed to be carried out.

She added: “We’re updating the foyer and shopping area to improve our service to visitors.

“People can only come in through the front door of the Parsonage, so they’re exposed to the elements if they have to queue.

“In future, they will be able to buy a ticket at the desk in the foyer then make their way round to the front, so they can still get the experience of going through the front door.”

Museum staff were this week taking down the 2013 special exhibition, which featured Bronte household items, in readiness to install the 2013 exhibition, which explores the Bronte family’s links with animals.

Ann said: “We also have our exhibition upstairs, which tells the stories of the Brontes’ lives and how they came to write their works. We change some of the items on display each year.

“There’s a huge amount of work that goes on. I think people imagine the winter is a quiet time for us, but it’s probably the busiest time.

“It’s the only time of year when we can do work, such as decorating or maintenance. Everything is cleaned. We check the entire collection for any deterioration, including the furniture. We have to be very watchful for the woodwork, cracks, veneers.”

During the closed season, expert conservators examine items acquired by the Bronte Society during the previous 12 months, before they go on public display.

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