Thursday, 10 December 2015

Collections in the Landscape

Collections in the Landscape

Out of the thrilling store-rooms of the Museum where fossils rest in long trays and years of prints and paintings hang in sliding racks and a stray toad-man could be lost for centuries (I know. I tried. They found me.), Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is unfolding a new project that will offer a whole new set of ways of accessing
the museum from here, there and anywhere and will take those wonderful collections back out into the hills and caves and dales they came from.

A quote from the Collections in the Landscape blog
“Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is delighted to have been awarded a £869,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant to deliver Collections in the Landscape. The project will bring bring context and collections together to engage more people with their heritage. Our aims are:

  • To improve public access to museum collections through development of virtual resources.
  • To improve public access to museum collections through the redevelopment of the principle gallery, Wonders of the Peak.
  • Enable schools and researcher to more effectively access and engage with heritage.
  • Link collections and knowledge through a network of partnerships and volunteer programmes.
  • To develop and share curatorial skills, ethical practice and digital media skills with staff, visitors, non-visitors and volunteers.”
Visit the Collections blog to find out more

Just now, what I want to say is that I’ve been asked to coordinate a series of events over the next 18 months or so that will take the CITL ideas and introduce them to people across the Peak District in engaging, creative and exciting ways

It’s great! I’m sidetracking myself into delighted flights of fancy and reluctantly deciding that we can’t really revisit plague and the medieval punishments of the Royal Forest of the Peak and acknowledging that dipping irritating visitors into petrifying wells might be fun but isn’t really “visitor friendly”.

So we are distilling ideas down to an ongoing set of excitements. I’m gathering a team of artist, photographers, ancient technology specialists and trouble-makers (Oo! Another excuse for those medieval punishments!) to help me and we’ll set a series of public events, schools sessions and more intensive learning days in motion.  I’ll post events as they come up but to whet appetites, over the next 3 months there will be

         The Last of the Wonders: 23rd December 10 – 1pm in the Museum: telling tales of the Peaks and inviting visitors to share their stories of the exhibition, drawing their own cards to keep and leaving us notes, comments and stories in our “Book of the Wonders”. A final event for this version of the display before it is redesigned and reinvigorated
         Marvelous Minerals: February 2016: a day of crystals and colour, looking at the mineral worlds of the peaks and the secrets that grow so slowly and reveal such spectacular colours in our caves and tunnels and long, slow-dripped caverns
Bone Detectives: March, 2016, for British Science Week: inviting visitors to discover the secrets of the skulls and spruce up their natural history skills: looking at shapes and structures and adaptations in skulls and discovering how these give us clues about the animals and their lives even if we are not sure what the animal might have been. Our friends in local group Stone and Water have received a Science Week grant towards this event so we can do more! Play with more bones, Admire more skulls! There will be a public event, a workshop for adults during the week and an evening visit to a group of scouts, guides, brownies – or similar – we’re taking offers if any local groups see this!

More details of all of these and the next set will be posted very shortly!

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