At Museums Northumberland we care for more than 25,000 objects across our four museums, celebrating 90 million years of Northumberland’s heritage.
We’re proud to share Northumberland’s stories, and we want local people of all ages to have a say in how we tell them. We want our collections and exhibitions to remain relevant and continue to inspire, challenge and entertain our visitors.
Our volunteers have been helping us to review all of our collections with the aim of getting them onto a new Collections Management System. This is essentially a database which stores all of the relevant information about an object all in one place.
We are increasing access to the collection through sharing stories online, developing co-curated displays outside of museum spaces and developing an online search integrated into our website.
Our Community Advisory Panel is made up of diverse local voices from our communities in Northumberland and is open to all ages and backgrounds, giving the communities we serve the chance to shape our collections both now and in the future.
The work they are doing is vital for the development of our new Collections Development Policy. This policy tells us what we do and don’t collect, e.g., our collecting areas such as Fine Art or Social History, what our geographical remit is and how we sit with other museums in the North East. It also helps us to determine which objects we should consider transferring to other educational institutions. For example, a ration book from Kingston-on-Thames might be better utilised if transferred to an organisation in London.
Keeping our collections healthy, manageable and relevant to our communities requires continual attention and this is why our Community Advisory Panel’s input is so valued.