Machine Tools Project

STICK has embarked on a Machine Tools Project to build upon the success of the joint STICK/NMS ‘Old Tools, New Uses’ Effective Collections project in 2011, which reviewed domestic technology and hand tool collections in Scottish museums and produced educational resources plus a master catalogue.

We aim to re-focus Scottish engineering and machine tools collections as an accessible resource for understanding basic engineering principles and processes. Historic machine tools are an ideal resource for engineering students to study as unlike modern CNC machines most of their working parts are visible.

We aim to better understand our collections in the context of industrial, social and technical history and to share that information with our peers via a master catalogue. This will meet one of the key aims behind the founding of STICK, to help curators better understand their industrial collections.

STICK Machine Tools Project Kick Off

STICK is pleased to announce that the Machine Tools Project had its official kick-off at the end of 2014 and is now ready to embark on its first stage. In collaboration with the steering group of the project, our new Industrial Collections Officer Daniela Wellnitz will undertake an audit of historic machine tools collections across Scotland. This will result in curatorial outputs for a better understanding of machine tool collections, which will be shared with peers via a master catalogue. Based on this, the project will develop a series of object-based projects with higher education organisations to enable engineering students to better understand engineering principles and processes via historic machine tools.

In this regard, the project is also keen on interviewing former operators of machine tools. Their valuable skills and specialist knowledge will render a tangible insight into the functionality of engineering objects and showcase the unique lifestyle that was originally attached to machine tools. This will provide a fertile ground for the preservation and better accessibility of Scottish machine tool heritage and will enable the project to create essential educational resources for curators, engineering professionals and the wider public.

First contact with a variety of museums across Scotland has been established and the relevant institutions have shown great interest in the STICK project and offered their cooperation.

For updates and upcoming events of the project, please visit the STICK website or follow us on Twitter (@stickssn) and Facebook for the latest news on Daniela’s work.