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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Staff and Governance

Core Staff

The day-to-day running of IMEMS is the responsibility of the Core Executive Committee, comprising the Director and Associate Directors and the Administrator. 

Publication details for Dr Mary Brooks

Brooks, M. M. (2014). ‘Indisputable authenticity’ engaging with the real in the museum. In Authenticity and Replication: The 'Real Thing' in Art and Conservation. Gordon, R., Hermens, E. & Lennard, F. London: Archetype Publications. 3-10.

Author(s) from Durham


Seligman, a 20th-century collector and historian, stated: ‘The first duty of the museums is to give us the material necessary for the avoidance of errors, by the exhibition of choice and characteristic examples of indisputable authenticity’ (Seligman 1922: 75). This paper explores different approaches to valuing the ‘real thing’ and the changing attitudes of museums to their role as the creators of ‘authenticity’, including possible tensions resulting from visitors’ awareness of the changed ‘reality’ created through the conservation process. It looks at conservators’ long engagement with ideas of authenticity and argues that a more open acknowledgement of the part played by conservation in creating visitors’ experience of the multilayered tangible and intangible complexities of objects might also be an important step in developing public awareness of the social and cultural role of conservation.

Full Executive Committee

Our Full Executive Committee is made up of the Core Executive Committee, listed above, plus a number of executive members including:

International Advisory Board

We are extremely fortunate to have be able to call on the help and guidance of colleagues from around the world who help to shape and guide our direction, strategy and international reach. Our current Advisory Board members are: