Recovery and Musealisation
The musealisation project was based on a wide research that sought to link together both technical information related to the manufacturing and dyeing of wool cloth and to the construction of a manufacturing space of the 18th century, and archaeological and historic information.
The museological programme was subjected to the preserved archaeological and architectonic pre-existences and an effort was made to frame them in space and in time and to recreate the environment of the manufacturing work. Due to the reuses that the Royal Textile Factory was submitted to as a factory, quarter, finance bureau and the higher education installation, it was impossible to identify all the inside spaces, except the spaces in the first floor, which integrate the musealised area.
The architectonic intervention conducted in the Wool Museum matched the University facilities general project, and though of delimited access, the museum spaces are part of the academic daily routine which is a pedagogic and cultural advantage. The recovery, restoration and musealisation project of this area was prepared by the Portuguese Association of Industrial Archaeology (APAI). The first nucleus of the Wool Museum was hence established and it was inaugurated on April 30th, 1992.
Besides the didactic aims due to its insertion in a higher education institution, the prepared musealisation project defined as aims and goals the reconstitution of the space and the supporting structures of a manufacturing dye-house of the 18th century; the information collection and organisation about the wool path in the region, since the 17th century until the present; the safeguarding of raw-materials and working instruments and the identification of energy sources with special attention paid to the hydraulic system of the region, the inventory of both the manufacturing structures and products , including samples and advertisements as well as objective data about the factory social world; the industrial activity support through the consultation process of samples, patents, sketches and anonymous experiences of technological adaptation and also, the support to eventual local museological nuclei.