Hidden Histories: Oral History Interviews

Continuing our series on Hidden Histories in museums, oral history interviews are a great way to fill gaps in your collection and to bring stories to life for audiences, both in your museum and at home.

black smartphone and headphones on a desk

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

As previously discussed, histories of certain groups and communities are often “hidden” because we don’t have the objects in our collection to represent them or because curators lack the specialist knowledge to interpret them.

By conducting interviews with members of these communities, you not only broaden your collection to include new stories and be more representative, you can ask questions which help you to better understand the physical objects already in your collection.

There are lots of ways museums can use oral history recordings. You can include them in exhibitions, either through a fixed unit or a portable player. Essex Record Office’s recent “You Are Hear” project saw special benches being placed around the county played recordings to the people listening to them.

You use clips of recordings on your website. Websites like Soundcloud, you can share clips from your your recordings and embed them into your website or blog, enabling you to share them around the world.

However, it isn’t as simple as simply sitting down with a your interviewee and asking questions. You need to make sure you have their permission to record the interview, to keep it and to share it.  You need to know that the equipment you have is up to the job. You should have a plan about what you want to ask, know how to ask open questions and what to do if the subject becomes upset during the course of the interview.

If you haven’t previously had oral history training, or would like a refresher, I have organised a training day with Sarah-Joy Maddeaux, Sound Archivist at Essex Record Office on 27th November. Click here for more information.

Don’t forget that SHARE’s Hidden History grant scheme is now open for applications. The deadline is 28th January, 2019. There is also a Hidden Histories Study Day at the British Museum on 23rd October 2018.

What is a “Hidden History”?

person with body painting

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

SHARE Museums East have just launched a new grant scheme to support museums to interpret and share “hidden histories”, but what does it mean and why should you care?

Hidden histories are stories which are typically not told by museums. This could be because past curators haven’t collected relevant objects, or they have but museums lack the knowledge (or interest)to properly interpret them.

Often hidden histories are those belonging to minorities, such as people with disabilities, religious groups and BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) communities.

As homosexuality was illegal until the 1960s and continued to be deemed socially unacceptable for some time afterwards, LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) stories are often under-represented.

However, “hidden” does not necessarily mean minority. Women are fifty percent of the population, but their stories are often not well recorded or shared. In many museums, women are only represented in the domestic galleries, or in relation to their husbands/fathers/sons. Collections are also often focussed on the wealthy or middle classes. Employers of the working class are well represented but the stories of the individuals are often sketchy or overlooked entirely.

Of course, I speak in generalities and there are many excellent examples of the above in museums but they are the exemption, not the rule.

 

How has this happened and why is this a problem? How would it benefit your museum to do more work highlighting these stories?

Many collections have come together through the work of a few private collectors and/or curators. They therefore reflect their particular interests, prejudices and opportunities. More recently, we have tended to rely on objects being offered to us rather than actively seeking to fill gaps. There is also frequently an awkwardness in tackling experiences outside of our own.

However, the world is changing. People no longer visit museums because it is considered “a good thing to do”. By tackling more diverse stories, museums are relevant to more people. They can increase not only their audiences, but their volunteers, donors and supporters, making them more resilient.

 

This is the first in a series of blogs around hidden histories, but I would like to draw your attention to a study day I have organised at the British Museum on 23rd October. This day will look at two different examples of hidden history interpretation.

Museum News – 18th September 2018

Dear All,

 

I am currently conducting a short survey to help shape the future of the Heritage Education Group (HEG). Please can you spare a few minutes to answer these questions: https://essexmdo.polldaddy.com/s/future-of-heg

 

I’d also like to take a moment to thank everyone who got their Benchmarking return in. I haven’t been given the exact figure yet, but we had around 80% of Accredited/WTA museums respond, which is an Essex record. Hopefully next year we can make it 100%!

 

Upcoming Essex Events

  • Museums Essex – Save the Date

The next Museums Essex meeting will be on Tuesday 4th October at Thurrock Museum. More details will be available soon.

  •  Donation to Disposal: Documentation Procedures and Guidance, Friday 12th October, 10am till 3:30pm, Rayleigh Weir Fire Station, FREE

This session, led by the Collections Trust, will explore the basics of museum documentation, its importance and how it is approached by different organisations.

By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Be familiar with the requirements of the Spectrum Primary Procedures and how they might be applied in different museums
  • Understand what is required by Accreditation
  • Be aware of where to go to for help and advice
  • Feel confident in what they need to do to meet the standard

For more information, and to book, please visit: https://essexmdo.com/events/donationtodisposal/

  • Essex Museums “Hidden Histories Study Day”, 23rd October, British Museum, FREE

“Hidden histories” is a term used to describe stories from the past that are overlooked or not generally known because they apply to a minority or oppressed group, including (but not limited to) LGBT, disability, mental health, BAME and women’s stories. For example, “Snapping the Stiletto” has been uncovering stories of women from the last 100 years that haven’t been researched and shared before.

Early in 2019, SHARE will be offering grants next year to support museums to explore “hidden histories”. In advance of this, I have arranged for a study in London. The agenda is still being finalised but will include an “Uncomfortable Art Tour”, looking at the Imperial past of the collections and how our Colonial past has shaped the collections: https://www.theexhibitionist.org/

I expect places at this event to be popular so I am initially limiting it to two per museum, with priority to Accredited/WTA museums. However, I will keep a waiting list for anyone else who is interested.

  • Heritage Education Group, Tuesday 18th December 2018, 10am for 10:30, Venue TBC, FREE

The Heritage Education Group (HEG) is open to anyone working or volunteering in heritage education in Essex, including museums, heritage centres, parks, libraries, churches etc. It meets quarterly, at different venues around the county. At our September meeting we’ll be looking at Community Co-Production and sharing updates from around the county. For more information, visit: https://essexmdo.com/events/heg/

  • SAVE THE DATE: Essex Police Safer Rural Communities Day, 14th November, Slamseys Farm, Blackley Lane, Great Notley, Braintree, CM77 7QW, 10am until 3pm, FREE

“Visit the many exhibitors showcasing crime prevention products, gain crime prevention advice & information from Essex Police and the exhibitors.

Includes relevant policing departments, partners, farming organisations, security products, CCTV, access control, equine advice, drones and much more!!

FREE ENTRY AND PARKING ON SITE

For further information dial 101 and ask for Essex Police, then ask for Essex Watch Liaison Officer”

  • Upcoming VisitEssex Training

17th October – Customer Care and Selling skills at Cressing Temple 9.15am – 2pm £49pp including lunch (£69pp for non-members)

15th November – Event Management at Wivenhoe House, 9.15 – 2pm £59pp including lunch (£79pp for non-members)

Email Lisa.Bone@essex.gov.uk for more information

 

SHARE Updates

  • SHARE Training Calendar

SHARE recently launched their 2018/19 calendar of training opportunities, which can be viewed here: http://www.sharemuseumseast.org.uk/

 

 

Vacancies

  • Vacancies at Essex Record Office

Customer Service Lead (19485): https://essexcc.taleo.net/careersection/ecc_external/jobdetail.ftl?job=19485&lang=en

Archive and Collections Lead (19486) https://essexcc.taleo.net/careersection/ecc_external/jobdetail.ftl?job=19486&lang=en

 

Museum News – 7th September 2018

Please find below updates from the latest Essex Museum Newsletter. To subscribe and get these updates straight to your inbox, click here.

Braintree Museum

Braintree Museum

Essex News

  • Youth Engagement Project

Pippa and I are looking for museums that would like to be involved in a youth engagement project, linked to Snapping the Stiletto. You do not have to be part of the original project or Accredited.

Pippa is putting together a Young Roots HLF application to work with youth organisations around the county to explore and celebrate Essex women’s stories from the last 100 years.

If you are interested in getting involved or just want to know more, please email Pippa at Pippa.smith@essex.gov.uk

  • Heritage Education Group, Thursday 13th September 2018, 10am for 10:30, Rayleigh Town Museum, FREE

The Heritage Education Group (HEG) is open to anyone working or volunteering in heritage education in Essex, including museums, heritage centres, parks, libraries, churches etc. It meets quarterly, at different venues around the county. At our September meeting we’ll be looking at Community Co-Production and sharing updates from around the county. For more information, visit: https://essexmdo.com/events/heg/

  • Museums Essex – Save the Date

The next Museums Essex meeting will be on Tuesday 4th October at Thurrock Museum. More details will be available soon.

Also, if you have been trying to contact the Chair, Robert Rose, please be aware that his email address has been updated to: robert.rose@bdmt.org.uk

  •  Donation to Disposal: Documentation Procedures and Guidance, Friday 12th October, 10am till 3:30pm, Rayleigh Weir Fire Station, FREE

This session, led by the Collections Trust, will explore the basics of museum documentation, its importance and how it is approached by different organisations.

By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Be familiar with the requirements of the Spectrum Primary Procedures and how they might be applied in different museums
  • Understand what is required by Accreditation
  • Be aware of where to go to for help and advice
  • Feel confident in what they need to do to meet the standard

For more information, and to book, please visit: https://essexmdo.com/events/donationtodisposal/

 

SHARE Updates

  • New Website and Training Calendar

SHARE have revamped their website and launched their new training calendar. Please have a look and see if there is any training that would be useful to your museum: http://www.sharemuseumseast.org.uk/

  • SHARE Advisory Forum

“The SHARE Advisory Forum is a new panel set up to act as a ‘critical friend’, to advise and inform our programmes during 2018-22. We are seeking members to represent different parts of the museums sector in the East of England.

The Forum is composed of 12 nominated and elected members. There are places for six elected members from the following groups of organisations:

  • 1 representative of local authority museums
  • 1 representative of staffed independent museums
  • 1 representative of a fully volunteer-run museum
  • 1 representative of a National museum
  • 2 representatives of different external organisations who are able to bring relevant and suitable skills to the Group, e.g. other regional heritage and arts organisations or tourism bodies.

If you would like to nominate yourself, please email Jamie Everitt, SHARE Regional Museum Development Manager, to arrange an initial discussion.

To find out more about the SHARE Advisory Forum, go to the Funding and Governance page of our website where you can download the Forum’s Terms of Reference”.

 

Funding and Opportunities

  • Free Autism Access Resources

Friday is the deadline for these free resources to make your museum more accessible to people with autism: http://autisminmuseums.com/free-sensory-equipment-from-autism-in-museums/

  • Fundraising Cohort

“Following the success of SHARED Enterprise, I’m delighted to confirm that SHARE will be picking up the baton and offering a new fundraising cohort opportunity for 2018-19.

There will be one cohort, comprising up to 6 museums that are serious about developing their fundraising skills.  Applicants must commit to attending all group workshops and one-to-one sessions.  Ideally, all sessions should be attended by the same two people, as this makes the learning more effective.  Preference will be given to museums which have not had the opportunity to join any of the SHARED Enterprise cohorts, but previous participants are welcome to apply if they can demonstrate the benefit they would receive.

We are in the process of recruiting a consultant to facilitate the cohort.  The training offered will be a blend of workshop sessions and 1-2-1 bespoke support worth approximately £1,600.  We are asking for a contribution towards this cost of £200 per accredited museum or £400 for a non-accredited museum.  This is to ensure commitment to the whole programme”.

For more information, visit: https://essexmdo.com/2018/09/06/share-fundraising-cohort-2018-19/

  • Arts Council England Project Grants

ACE have produced a useful guide to their new grants and who is eligible to apply: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/download-file/Information_sheets_Museum_projects_Project_grants_0.pdf

  • Safe and Secure: Facilities Improvements Grants

“SHARE is offering grants to help museums forge stronger links with National museums and other significant lenders to increase loans from these organisations to museums in the region.

Museums can apply for a grant up to £3,000 for a wide range of activities related to loans. Examples of activities for which the grant can be used include:

  • Security improvements including work needed for GIS
  • Environmental improvements including work needed for GIS
  • Conservation and condition report costs for loans
  • Conservation work required as a condition of the loan agreement
  • Transport and packing costs for loans
  • Courier fees or object handling staff time
  • Specialist mounts, frames or display cases

Other activities may be eligible. For more details see the Grants section of our website. The deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 28 September 2018. If you would like to discuss your project, please contact Miranda Ellis, SHARE Project Officer”.

  • Museums Change Lives Awards

“The Museums Association (MA) is calling for nominations for the Museums Change Lives Awards, which will celebrate the achievements of museums and individuals that have made an impact on the lives of their audiences and communities.

The inaugural Museums Change Lives Awards will have three categories for museums: Best Museums Change Lives Project, the Local Hero Award and Best Small Museum Project; and one category for individuals: the Radical Changemaker Award.

The Museums Change Lives award will recognise the best project in the past year that reflects one or more of the themes of the MA’s Museums Change Lives campaign: Promoting Health and Wellbeing; Creating Better Places; and Inspiring Engagement, Reflection and Debate”.

For more information, visit: https://www.museumsassociation.org/news/31082018-enter-your-nominations-for-the-museums-change-lives-awards

  • SEMFed Study Trip Bursary

The South and East Museums Federation is unique among UK Museum Federations in organising an annual study trip that gives members a rare opportunity to visit behind the scenes and meet members of staff from museums across Europe and beyond.

It is a great opportunity to learn from fellow professionals across the world and socialise with fellow SEMFed members over dinner & drinks.

The 2019 SEMFed Study Trip will be to Copenhagen, Denmark on 30th January – 2nd February 2019

Each year, SEMFed offers a travel bursary in honour of Martin Howe, an ex-President of the Federation who was involved in the organisation for many years.

The £200 bursary helps to cover travel and accommodation costs of the study trip and is open to all SEMFed members who have not been on the Study Trip before. This year there are two bursaries available.

  • AIM Hallmarks Awards, Grants Of Up To £12,000

“AIM members in England can now apply for a grant of up to £12,000 through the new AIM Hallmarks Awards. Funded by Arts Council England through AIM’s National Portfolio Organisation funding, the AIM Hallmarks Awards will provide grants totalling around £55,000 each year over the next four years and are available in two strands:

Main grants of £4000 to £12000:  will enable museums to implement the key ideas of the AIM Hallmarks. We will support projects that have an impact on museums’ ways of working, culture, strategy or business model. These will be open to all Accredited AIM member museums in England.

Small grants of £3000 – £6000: will support museums to improve their financial sustainability through either cost saving or income generation. These will only be open to Accredited AIM member museums in England in AIM’s small museum category (that is, museums with up to 20,000 visitors a year).

The closing date for Round One is 20th November. Please click this link to find out more.

  • Call for Papers: Culture Geek London, March 2019

“If you work in or with a cultural organisation and have a digital project that you’d like to share, revolutionary new tech which we all should know about or an idea that could help those working in the sector to navigate the changing digital landscape we want to hear from you”.

For more information, visit: https://london.culturegeek.com/news/speak-culture-geek-2019/

  •  Weston Loan Funding

“The Weston Loan Programme provides funding for regional museums to secure important strategic loans from national collections, maximise loan opportunities in the context of their own collections and communities, and offers opportunities to strengthen the skills of museum professionals working in this area.

We recognise the great value of our national collections being shared more widely across the UK, and hope that museum staff, collections and audiences nationwide will benefit now and in the future.

The second round of applications for funding is now open and the deadline for submissions is 11 September 2018. Please find details of how to apply below, and contact Penny Bull, pbull@artfund.org, 020 7225 4840 for further information about the programme and to discuss a potential application.

We’d also encourage any applicants who are less confident about borrowing from a national museum or gallery to attend one of TEG’s ‘Preparing to Borrow’ workshops, being run across the country from May to July 2018”

For more information, visit: https://www.artfund.org/supporting-museums/weston-loan-programme

 

Training and Resources

  • Retail Forum: Inspiring teamwork through Retail, Friday 19th October, Scott Polar Research Institute, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1ER, 10am – 3.30pm

“A workshop looking at how Retail volunteers are selected, recruited and inducted into the museum team, supporting a one team approach and how the retail team can help increase volunteer satisfaction and visitor engagement throughout the museum. We will be joined for the training sessions by Linda Brandish. Linda is a Volunteering Advisor who has 15 years experience in the sector, and who has previously worked with SHARE on volunteer focussed training opportunities.

There will also be the usual opportunities for networking, group discussion and the Dead Stock Swap Shop – an opportunity to brainstorm how to push sales of dead stock or where to pass it on to!

There is no charge for the event, and lunch and refreshments will be provided.

All welcome! To book your place please follow the link below: http://www.sharemuseumseast.org.uk/events/event/retail-forum-inspiring-teamwork-through-retail/

  • GEM Intermediate Course: Heritage Interpretation 2018, 4th October 2018, 10.00 till 16.30, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Fee: £125 for GEM and AHI members and £160 for non-members

“If you want to develop your understanding and application of interpretive good practice, then this course is for you!

Freeman Tilden, the “father of interpretation” believed that interpretation is an art, but one which can be taught. We will share the skills of this “art” and explore Tilden’s other principles of interpretation through hands-on learning. You will discover the background and context for interpretive theory and be supported to put it into practice in a meaningful way.

This course is aimed at mid-career professionals with responsibility for planning, delivering or managing learning programmes across the heritage sector. It is most suited to those already involved in interpretation in their organisation, especially those looking for ways to improve or build upon their practice.

The course will combine a one-day workshop with personal work and ongoing peer discussion to give you the most beneficial learning experience possible. The one-day workshop will be a mix of discussion and sharing of perspectives/experiences, practical working in pairs and small groups and some presentation of theory by the course director. It will also facilitate the building of a peer group to support you through the follow-up activity.

For more information and to book, please visit the GEM website (https://gem.org.uk/training-and-events/gems-training-programme/intermediate-courses/heritage-interpretation-course/)”.

  • V&A Professional Development Programme

“I’m very pleased to be able to share the new V&A Professional Development Programme with you. We are offering 20 courses between September and January, each led by expert V&A staff members.

I hope in visiting the Professional Development page on our website, you will find courses that speak directly to training needs of your colleagues. It would be greatly appreciated if you could share this page within your professional network. You can also view and download the programme brochure here.”

 

Vacancies

  •  Assistant Curator, Parndon Mill, Harlow

“We are looking to recruit a part time Assistant Curator to join a small team who deliver a variety of contemporary exhibitions.

This position is busy, interesting and fundamental to the smooth workings of Parndon Mill. It will be based at the gallery in an idyllic setting on the River Stort on the Hertfordshire and Essex border. It does require unique delivery of both customer facing and sound administrative skills. It will suit an individual with a keen interest in arts with a driving ambition to be part of the longer-term plan for the furtherance of culture”.

For more information, visit: http://parndonmill.co.uk/contact-us/jobs-and-opportunities

  • Curator (ESCALA and University Art Collections), University of Essex

“This is an exciting opportunity to manage a major art collection and contribute to the development of academic and research support services at the University of Essex. Library Services – in which the post is based – includes three campus libraries, the largest being the iconic Albert Sloman Library at the Colchester campus, with over 1m printed items, extensive special collections and examples of work by leading 20th century artists such as Christopher Wood, Ben Nicholson, Alfred Wallis and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. In addition to promoting and conserving these artworks, the post holder will be responsible for the management and development of ESCALA, the University’s unique collection of Latin American art, with over 750 works dating largely from the 1960s to the present”.

For more information, visit: https://vacancies.essex.ac.uk/tlive_webrecruitment/wrd/run/ETREC107GF.open?VACANCY_ID=072097HjqK&WVID=9918109NEm&LANG=USA.

 

SHARE Fundraising Cohort 2018-19

money pink coins pig

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

As you may be aware, between 2014 and 2018 museums in the East of England had access to specialist fundraising training through SHARED Enterprise, an HLF funded project.  The programme included cohort-based training, which participating museums found highly effective because it combined group workshops with specialist one-to-one support and peer networking.

 

Now that the SHARED Enterprise programme has finished, we are planning to offer similar cohort-based fundraising training as part of the 2018-19 SHARE training calendar.  A small number of museums will attend group workshops and receive expert one-to-one support from an experienced fundraiser.  They will learn about fundraising strategies, including a variety of fundraising methods, and they will be supported to apply their learning in the real context of their own museums.

 

Workshop content will be tailored to suit the needs of the participating museums.  The following topics are likely to be covered:

 

  • Fundraising strategy
  • Case for support
  • Trusts and foundations
  • Corporate support
  • Individual giving

 

The fundraising cohort is for museums of all sizes that are serious about developing their fundraising skills, but applicants must commit to attending all group workshops and one-to-one sessions.  Ideally, the same two people should attend every session, as this makes the learning more effective and means you are more likely to be able to put the learning into practice and achieve fundraising success. Preference will be given to museums which have not had the opportunity to join any of the SHARED Enterprise cohorts.

 

The dates and locations of sessions will be arranged once the participating museums have been selected.  As far as possible, we will arrange workshops to be held in locations that are geographically sensible for participants, including asking participating museums to host a workshop if they have suitable facilities to do so.  Workshop dates are yet to be arranged and will be published as soon as possible.  One-to-one sessions will be take place at the participants’ own venues, by prior arrangement.

 

There is a small fee payable for taking part in the fundraising cohort.  This is £200 for an accredited museum in the East of England, or £400 for a non-accredited museum and museums outside the East of England region.  In return for this, you will receive training and one-to-one support worth approximately £1,600.  Information about how to pay will be sent to you if you are offered a place in the cohort, and payment is needed to secure your place.  If you would like to apply but have difficulty paying the fee, please contact us to discuss assistance.

 

How to apply:

Initially, please complete the expression of interest form below and email it to sharemuseumseast@norfolk.gov.uk no later than 5pm on Monday 10 September 2018.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Miranda on 01603 493659 or email miranda.ellis@norfolk.gov.uk.

Museum News – 23rd July 2018

I usually share links on social media so that non-subscribers can view my newsletters but there seems to be a fault with the new platform ECC are using which means the link doesn’t work. Therefore I am sharing the information on my blog.

If, since the GDPR changes, you are no longer receiving my newsletter but want to, or if you are a new subscriber, you can sign up here.

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  • Upcoming Essex Meetings

Collections Trust Event

The Collection Trust will be holding a free training day in Essex on Friday 12th October. We are looking for a venue to host and for everyone’s input on what subjects the training should cover. They are willing to talk about a range of documentation-related subjects including policies and procedures, the new SPECTRUM guidelines, backlogs and collection reviews. To have your say, vote online here

If you are able to offer a venue, please email amy.cotterill@essex.gov.uk

 

  • SHARE Updates

Benchmarking – Deadline Friday 31st August 2018.

It’s that time of year again! The annual Benchmarking return collects data from museums around the region regarding visitor figures, income, staff and volunteer numbers etc. This data can be used by museums and SHARE for advocacy, funding applications, planning and all sorts of other things. You can see how your museum compares to others of a similar size or collection, compare data from different years or use it to illustrate the contribution your museum has had to the local economy and community.

The data that you provide should be for the period 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018. The deadline for completing the survey is Friday 31 August 2018.

For more information about why you should take part in Benchmarking and how to get involved, click here

 

New Creative Communities Network

SHARE is launching a new Creative Communities Network. Building on the work of the previous Co-Production Network, this peer-support group is for any museums looking to engage more closely with their local communities. The first meeting will be this September in Ipswich. For more information, and to give your availability for the first meeting, click here

(Please do email me at amy.cotterill@essex.gov.uk with your contact details to go on the mailing list as well as filling in the poll).

 

  • Funding and Opportunities

OFBYFOR ALL

Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History is running a fully-funded international museum development pilot called OFBYFOR ALL. The project is based on their phenomenal success in community coproduction, which has seen their annual budget increase from $700 000 in 2011 to $3 000 000 in 2018. It is led by their director Nina Simon, author of “The Participatory Museum”. For more information, click here 

 

Grants Of Up To £90,000 For History Makers In England

“The third and final round of the AIM Biffa Award History Makers Programme is now open for applications from AIM member museums in England. Check your eligibility and find out how to apply here.

Grants of up to £90,000 are available to support museums by creating new exhibitions featuring the lives and achievements of extraordinary, historical figures who have made a significant impact on the industrial, creative industries and arts, scientific, commercial or social history of the UK, helping to shape the world we live in today.

We want the funded exhibitions to be inspiring and exciting – especially for young people – and we are very keen to hear about exhibitions that would feature female history makers, notable people from the 20th century and people that have made a positive impact in the different and diverse communities of England”.

 

“AIM Conservation Grants: Next Round Closes 31st September

Does your museum need financial or practical support for a conservation project? AIM members can now apply for the next round of our conservation grants which close on the 31st September.

The round features three different funding schemes: Remedial Conservation Scheme, Collections Care Scheme and Collections Care Audits. Find out more and how to apply at: AIM Conservation Grants: Next Round Closes 31st September

 

Building Connections Fund

“Following the Prime Minister’s and Minister for Sport and Civil Society’s announcement to unlock £20m funding to tackle loneliness (as a part of Government’s ​wider endorsement of the Jo Cox Commission recommendations​), a new £11.5 million Building Connections Fund has been set up to support projects that are able to prevent or reduce loneliness.

 

The fund is a partnership between Government, Big Lottery Fund and the Co-op Foundation and aims to:

  • increase social connections, helping people form strong and meaningful relationships and creating a sense of community and belonging, and helping people feel more connected
  • support organisations to build on their existing work, eg by reaching more people, or working in a new area or with a different method or group of people
  • encourage organisations to join up with others locally
  • improve the evidence base and use learning to inform longer term policy and funding decisions”

More details, including how to apply, can be found here

 

WH Smith Community Grants

“The WHSmith Trust is now offering grants of up to £500 to voluntary organisations and schools from the proceeds of the compulsory carrier bag levies across the UK. Grants are awarded every six months to charities, schools and community groups of any size, provided they support the community in the UK.” For more information, click here. 

 

Heritage Lottery Fund, 1-on-1 Advice sessions, Wednesday 1th August, 11.00am – 3pm, Hadleigh Old Fire Station, High Street, Hadleigh, SS7 2PA

“Do you want funding? Do you have an idea for a heritage project? Then book a slot with Sally to find out how we can help!

Call Sally Page 07790375405 or email; sally.page@hlf.org.uk to book a 30 minute 1-on-1 slot to talk about your idea and find out more about our funding.”

 

“AIM Members: Sign Up Now To Receive Free Digital Membership Of The Social History Curators Group

Members of AIM can now take advantage of free digital membership of the Social History Curators Group (SHCG). This offer is available until 31st August and the free membership will run until 31st March 2019.

The Social History Curators Group was formed to improve the status and provision of social history in museums and the standards of collections, research, display and interpretation.

The group is a friendly community of history practitioners, people with an interest in social history and those that work directly with social history in museum collections. You don’t have to be a curator or an established professional to join – the group is open to anyone who works with social history.”

 

  • Resources

Heritage Watch

Has your organisation joined Heritage Watch, an Essex Police initiative to battle crime against museums and other heritage sites? Find out more here

 

Freelancers

SHARE has produced two new guides, one for museums wanting to work with freelancers and one for individuals wishing to go freelance. Both are available on the SHARE website

 

East of England Emerging Museum Professionals (EEEMP) Network

There is a new online network for people in the early stages of their museum career, living or working in the East of England. More information is available here

 

  • Vacancies

 Vacancies at Colchester and Ipswich Museums

CIMS are currently recruiting for two posts:

-Assistant Collections and Learning Curator (Natural Sciences), Colchester/Ipswich, £20,043 – 23,574, 37 hours per week, Closing date: Wednesday 1 August, 2018

Senior Collections and Learning Curator, Ipswich, £27,360 – £32,884, 37 hours per week, Closing date: Friday 17 August, 2018

You can find out more information here.

AIM Conference 2018: Changing Gear

Caroline Hamson, Heritage Collections Officer for The Scouts, shares her experiences of this year’s Association of Independent Museums Conference.

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Diversity was the focus of the first day, or as Shaz Hussain suggested, representation not diversity. Hannah Fox the Derby Silk Mill Project Director discussed how imperative it is to design exhibitions/museums/sites alongside your communities. You must have human centred design which focuses on think, do and feel. The top down approach is out of touch and more importantly, is not impactful.

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Victoria Rogers from Cardiff Story Museum gave us a run-down of the top 10 tips for building and diversifying audiences, with the mantras, ‘Ask, Listen, Act’, ‘Live your commitment’ and ‘Review, Learn, Amend, Grow’.

A tour of the new collections store at Gaydon was an eye opener, what a magnificent facility! It even includes a full view of the workshop where staff and volunteers maintain and repair the vehicles. A facility which means 100% of their collection (bar the archive) is on display. What a dream.

 

It’s also where I found my next car…..

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On day two we learnt about the free stuff and resources that are available to us as AIM members. The free resources through the, ‘Open Up: Museums for everyone’ project which will help museums of all sizes increase the diversity of their visitors to make real and lasting change in the museum sector. And a new three-year partnership with the Charity Finance Group means AIM members can sign up to receive advice, trouble shooting, resources, all for free!

A fascinating talk by Sue Davies told about the positive impact understanding your type of museum can have. Club, temple, forum or attraction? Understanding this can lead to better management by adapting your leadership style; leader, facilitator, guardian or business manager.

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What did I learn? To be the best we can be and serve our communities we must listen, really listen, don’t impose our ideas on people, be open to criticism, have a great sense of purpose and vision which is shared by everyone, and be willing to try and test ideas without fear of failure.